Of all the bands that attempted to pick up the mantle of chaotic abrasive metalcore in the new millennium, Scarlet were my favourite. Because unlike their peers who were content to weakly imitate Botch and the like, Scarlet put their own unique spin on things and as a result stood out from the crowd, as seen on “Something to Lust About” which shows Scarlet experimenting with electronic beats and melding their style of influences with the newer breeds of hardcore and metal.
“Something to Lust About” is a melding of the late 90s style of metalcore with the newer breed of core that was coming about in the early 2000s. More cleanly produced than their influences Scarlet nonetheless have their own brand of chaos that puts them toe to toe with any heavyweights of the genre, wielding a sound that relies on a thunderingly fast storm of blast beats, complex chugging, off kilter riffs and abrasive blasts of noise that cascades over sickly screamed vocals. The sharp production quality give Scarlet a very rounded and controlled sound, not reliant on feedback and noise to create a sense of disharmony but rather relying on the way in which they layer riffs over fluid blast beats that stop and start seamlessly to create disorder, giving them a rumbling snowballing feel on some tracks. They show this best on “Carbon Copy Killer” where everything cuts out except for one short, sharp guitar groove that suddenly cocks and breaks into the song mechanically, providing some strong rhythmic force.
Other than that Scarlet show that they’re ahead of most in the game by incorporating electronic influence into their sound, thankfully not in any way similar to much hated electronicore bands of a few years back. For example “Sell Yourself” consists of a repeating electronic beat with spacey ambient noise in the background, before being disturbed by industrial cymbal hits and heavy pounding drums. The heavily rhythmic nature of the song is at odds with Scarlets core sound but it’s a welcome departure from the chaos. Similarly, the closing track “Suicide King” also features heavy industrial influence with murmured vocals that change into distorted screams over a repeating guitar groove and fuzzy drumming.
For such a short EP (of the 6 tracks only 2 go over 2 minutes) Scarlet show a lot of promise on Something to Lust About, and are a good illustration of how the blueprint for metalcore didn’t need to get stale as it could be easily tweaked with newer ideas that retain the core of the genre while freshening things up a bit. And Scarlet themselves strangely enough seem aware of this freedom to go in any direction they want at this point as the EP closes on the line “I could be your anything”.