Review Summary: Aerolyn showcase their passion and excellent song-writing on their strong debut.
What’s missing from the post-hardcore genre these days? Like the much-critiqued genre of metalcore, recent post-hardcore is a oversaturated with a gang of bands that feed off of one another in sound, structure, and hell, even appearance. Chalk it up to be vocals, breakdowns, and melodies (or lack thereof) it goes without saying that both genres are caving in from exposure. What will be curious is which bands will remain and why they do. What enabled them to survive the purge of the scene? Some may argue innovation: it was the band’s choice to expand their sound. Some may say genre-experimentation: branching out and encompassing elements from post-rock, maybe progressive. Both acceptable answers, but something else is missing. What really will set these bands apart from the followers?
The answer is passion.
Enter Aerolyn, an upcoming post-hardcore outfit from Oklahoma (are there any of those yet?). On their debut EP “Resilience”, Aerolyn have achieved what has eluded all-too many post-hardcore bands of today: a distinct sound. The quartet takes all the best the genre has had to offer (soaring melodies, powerful chords, explosive drums, and an exceptional vocalist) and makes them their own. On opener “Between Lions and Men”, Aerolyn showcase their take on the genre. Immediately noticeable is the slick production that brings out each member’s abilities. The guitars are crisp, the drums are full of punch but don’t dominate the sound, the bass is delightfully audible but not drowning out, and the vocals. Oh, the vocals. Chase Theodos knows where to belt his heart out, where to deliver harmony, and where to take a breather and let the band do what they do best. Anyone looking for an uplifting chorus search no further, “Resilience” is your calling. “The Harbinger” showcases Theodos’ passionate vocal work at its finest. With the assistance of Jonny Craig for the outro, the song is absolutely beautiful.
Whether you’re looking for pounding riffs, melodic leads, or slow and ambient interludes, “Resilience” has what you need, in generous amounts. “Wefightfail” features the heavy yet catchy riffs post-hardcore is known for countered against sweet choruses. What is so remarkable about Aerolyn is their refusal to stick to standard song structures. Verses tend to be fairly different from each other within the same song, revolving around completely different guitar lines. It’s never a good thing to be listening to a song and be able to guess when a verse will be repeated, and Aerolyn don’t make this a problem. Scattered throughout each song are sweet sections and heavier components, but neither are so predictable as to make the songs seem formulaic. Being able to balance heavy sections with infectious melodies correctly is a strength on its own, but pairing this with superb song-writing skills is a talent Aerolyn can only improve on and continue to work to their advantage.
Closer and title-track “Resilience” shows the passion this band has at its highest level. Featuring acoustic guitars and harmonized vocal work, the title-track brings the album to a close on a very calming and somber note, until Aerolyn’s bottled up emotion explodes. The track is very ambitious for its two-minute run, bursting with passion and demonstrating that there is still heart in the genre. Any fan of honest and powerful vocals, balanced heavy and melodic guitar parts, and tight song writing will find plenty to love about “Resilience”. Though short in length, Aerolyn are here to show that post-hardcore isn’t quite ready to collapse. All it needs is breath of fresh air. They are that breath.