‘After 2 years of writing and refining material, Cyanide Later officially formed in late 2011’, is the opening line from the bio of the British rock band, listening to their debut EP it has to be said that the time spent honing, defining, and evolving their creative ideas and sound has only elevated their obvious strengths. Always Read The Label (pt1) is an outstanding first introduction to the world, a release which leaves thoughts, emotions, and senses already impatient for part 2, whilst basking in some of the freshest exciting rock sounds to emerge this year.
The five songs which make up the release are multi faceted slabs of rock n roll, each rippling with metal and rock influences whilst standing distinctly alone in sound and presence. It is a rare skill to create songs which immediately sound like friends, ‘acquaintances’ who you seemingly know so much about but at the same time are discovering only new things from. Cyanide Later have done that with Always Read The Label, brought songs which feel at ease with the fullest of welcomes in the ear but simultaneously unveil only undiscovered treats.
The band consists of Mike McGreal (vocals/guitar), James Barratt (backing vocals/guitar), Tom Smith (drums), and Pete Hurst (bass/backing vocals). The EP though has two stand-in bassists involved with Hurst joining after its recording. For the release Mike Bridge (Seasons End/Acid Empire) and Dave Guiney (Redlight) brought their skills to the songs, both apparently completing 2.5 songs each. Entirely self recorded, mixed and mastered by the Stratford Upon Avon band, Always Read The Label is nothing less than impressive, the overall sound and breath with a raw but defined air upon the strong songwriting and skilled play.
It has to be said reading that the influences of Cyanide Later included Reuben only raised the anticipation further notches, the band a heartfelt adoration here, and arguably it gave opener Monster In Me an extra challenge of expectation to rise to. The track proved it or they are no Reuben in sound or style but without doubt Cyanide Later has the entire armoury to match the accomplishments of the Hampshire trio. The track swaggers in from a distance and when in place sways and mesmerises with weaving riffs and mischievous hooks. The vocals are outstanding, McGreal showing a great range from clean to passionate growls whilst the band backs him perfectly for anthemic lures throughout. The song grooves like a sultry mistress, its weaving seduction leaving nothing to the imagination but making its recipient wait until it is ready, than unleashing all with passion and craft.
RifT enters with shadowed vocals and teasing riffs before opening its muscular arms and unleashing an impressive mesh of metal and rock. With attitude dripping from every note and syllable, the track is a fiery swell of evolving pace and bristling intensity. Whereas the opening song could be said to have a feel of Puddle Of Mudd about it this track has a sterner core within its again vibrant melodies to remind of bands like Sick Puppies and early Karnivool, and yes Reuben a little.
Already convinced by release and band, the excellent A Thousand Faces only fans the primed acclaim towards them, the song a lighter yet just as energetic feast of intelligent melodies and infectious enterprise, simply a thoroughly captivating piece of pop rock. Whether the band are creating new waters of sound is debatable but they without doubt are creating waves within existing pools to leave one energised and inspired.
The slow emotive caresses of Breathe You and the eager chunky riffs and blazing passions of Escapees complete the release, both not quite reaching the heights of the previous trio of songs but still rich in lush melodic touches and in the case of the last, agitated intimidating slightly concussive rhythms and erosive guitar aggression, not to mention great post hardcore vocals from the continually impressive McGreal.
Always Read The Label (pt 1) has something to impress all rock and metal fans, whilst Cyanide Later unleashes such promise that you can only see them gaining great heights of recognition ahead.
Check out the EP at http://Cyanidelater.bandcamp.com
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