The Brightside from UK alternative rockers Violet is a challenging, surprising and unpredictable creature and all the better for it. The release never rests from testing the senses ensuring intrigue and unexpected ingenious twists are the very least one gets from the listening experience. It is obvious from the EP that the band puts a lot of thought into their songwriting and how to present it and it is no surprise that since their formation in 2007 they have grown into a formidable name in the UK underground rock music scene. The release drips creativity and well crafted music which even if it does not fully connect leaves one in no doubt to the talent within the band.
Already having inspired a keen acclaim and following with their self released debut album and EP’s, the septet from Derbyshire recently signed with Small Town Records. First thing the pairing did was re-release The Brightside EP with three extra bonus tracks added. With the new opportunity to be spread across the country and beyond the release the thought is that the EP is the beginning of a steep rise in their appeal and recognition, the release marking them out as a band that will be very important to the UK rock scene.
The first unavoidable thing of the songs is the dual vocal attack from Jonny Nelson and Charlie Bass. They swing from a wonderful emotive and clean side that soars great heights as often as it caresses the ear over to an opposite extreme of a caustic and grating screamed attack that tests persistently. This works greatly on the whole though the coarse side of the vocals lack a distinct variety at times which does not always sit easy upon the ear though this is tempered by the impressive clean side of the partnership. The vocals do lead to one slight problem though in that with the duo being so powerful and attention grabbing the creative and inspired music and its craft often slips by without notice behind without focusing on it. For appreciative music fans this just means a deeper richness to delve into and discover upon each visit but one can see others less patient and attentive listeners missing the full impressive might on show.
The EP opens with the title track to give an immediately striking impression upon the ear. As guitars stir into action with open grace and the clean vocals slowly swarm over the ear stroking a response the song is an instant pleasure. Harsh less welcoming vocals then grip tightly to pull the senses into a fully awaken state whilst the band consumes with a majestic touch combining both their melodic imagination and aggressive intensity. As the vocals grip the focus firmly the guitars of Sam Bass and Joe Middleton weave triumphant patterns that ignite the heart once given their attention.
A deeply impressive start eclipsed immediately by the following Youth, And Those Who Keep It. Again initially coaxing with mesmeric harmonies and melodies the peace is shattered by the screams which initially wrong foot the ear into a unsure reaction. Then as the keys of Tommy Cotton bring a warm reassurance with their flowing touch alongside the great clean vocals everything slips into perfect place. With the bass of Liam Westnidge a dark presence throughout and the drums of Robbie George holding a great balance between both sides of the sound the song hits deep.
The songs bring influences from far afield moulding them into their own distinct sound bringing as previously mentioned an unpredictable element to each and every track that is very satisfying. The likes of …But Have You Heard Of Me, the succinctly layered brilliance that is Perspectives, and the epic sounding Seven For A Secret all lifting the emotions firmly as the band captivates and questions the ear.
Unable to tell when the bonus songs of Everyone Will Listen, Just Like Summer, and Away From Everything come in the timeline of the songwriting of the band there is a notable different feel to them though not in sound direction. There seems an ever better fluidity between the harsh and siren aspects of the music but sound wise there is a slightly less clarity which leaves one unsure if the songs are older or younger than the rest of the EP. What is evident is the tracks are just as impressive especially.
The Brightside is an excellent release and an inspiring introduction to Violet for those who have yet to have the pleasure. Full of promise and dripping creativity the band are on the verge of big things.