Review Summary: If Cagebound is any indication of what to expect from future releases, With Words are without a doubt, a band to keep a look out for.
Lately it seems that many a band are springing forth from all corners of this big blue marble to share their sound with all of us in order to achieve both acknowledgement and a chance to win our ears over. Well one band in particular not only got my attention, but they completely blew me away in the process. Hailing from Chicopee, Massachusetts, this five piece outfit has breathed life into the post-hardcore genre, and not by re-inventing it, but by sticking to the tried and true formula and releasing one of the most aggressive and passionate EPs of this year.
I’ve been aware of With Words for sometime now, hell, my band even had a show with them, but due to complications, it never came to pass. The only songs they had available was from a split six song EP they did with A Cause To Unite, but now with the release of Cagebound, With Words are out to make a name for themselves in the post-hardcore world, and luckily for them, this EP not only does the genre justice, but the band as well.
Cagebound works quick to get your attention as the opening moments of “Consumer Plague”, with the drums, primal-like in delivery, merely sets up the chaos that will soon ensue. And sure enough, as the guitars slowly come in, you’re soon propelled face first into a furious and unrelenting wall of riffs and the opening screams of, “Existing is subjective, assuming, selectivity, your own.” From there the intensity continues, as the guitars, both metallic and harsh, churn out the stop and go chugging pattern as the last chord is rung out, giving off a feeling as though you’re being pummeled by some mechanized beast, repeatedly, and in some sick way, you enjoy it.
Simply put, this is the entire demeanor of Cagebound, it’s an extremely angry and pissed off EP, and in its 21-minute runtime, it manages to display so much passion that you can’t help but listen to it and feel what this band must have felt when writing these tunes. Each track just permeates with their blood and sweat, and while sharing similarities to that of a bands like Converge and The Chariot, this EP manages to achieve what a lot of other bands could only hope to do in a full-length album.
What also helps Cagebound is the quality at which the music is being handled. Vocalist Mike Govoni viciously and verbally attacks the microphone, and you can hear just how much of himself he is putting into his words. There is actual feeling behind his voice, most notably on the final track, “Feeder”, where his vocals really reflect the entire course of the EP, and around the 1:30 mark you hear the desperation in his voice, which is sort of reminiscent of Josh Scogin at times, and it sounds awesome. But the passion doesn’t just lie within the vocals, as the rest of the band, guitarists Mike Holman and Matt Gosselin, bassist Joseph Perron and drummer Joseph Barthelette, equally match the vocals with just as much intensity, and fully flesh out the songs to give them there brutal but beautiful tone.
This is has been a strong year for EPs and With Words, as of now, are competing for a top ten spot on my best of 2011 list. If you’re into post-hardcore and happen to enjoy the bands mentioned above, there is no excuse for not giving this EP a listen. If you happen to shrug your shoulder to this style of music, then you are severely missing out on some gnarly bands. So in closing, if Cagebound is any indication of what to expect from future releases, With Words are without a doubt, a band to keep a look out for.