Held By Horses: In History

Held By Horses is a quintet from Chelmsford in the UK which is starting to turn heads their way with strong and impressively delivered rock music. The Essex female fronted band now builds on their already rising stock with the release of their new EP In History. Consisting of five songs which grab attention and feed the desire for vibrant and well crafted songs, the EP without arguably bringing new startling detours in the direction of rock music, leaves one fully satisfied and looking forward to watching and hearing the future of this promising band.

Forming in the opening weeks of 2011, the band soon had their debut EP rampaging in ears and since have lit up stages alongside the likes of Mallory Knox, Mystery Jets, Johnny Get The Gun, and Our People Versus Yours. Produced by Dan Lancaster (Lower Than Atlantis, Mallory Knox), In History is their next impressive step in a steady rise as the band works their way to the fore of national recognition.

To swiftly get the obvious comment out of the way when listening to the EP, it has to be said the surface sound of the band though impressive is not groundbreaking. With other great emerging bands such as Leopards, Never The Last Breath, and Hitchcock Blonde to name just three treading the same field of sound, there is a familiar feel across them all. This makes initial impressions less dramatic then maybe is deserved and only with a closer inspection does the craft and skill of the individual come out as with Held By Horses. The trouble for bands is how many have that intent and patience? Saying that though, the band does have an emerging style which is maybe more suggested right now but it is there and destined to evolve ahead.

The release opens with You Win Some, You Lose Some. It is a song which initially under whelms with the main reason being that the vocals of Harriet Reynolds are lost within the mass of the music. It is like she is veiled but thankfully as the rest of the EP explodes in the ear her great voice and delivery is allowed the clarity to shine and hit home with vigour and passion. The song itself is a pleasing if not adventurous companion and certainly keeps one happy to check out the rest of the release.

The following Little Water is soon putting the opener in the shade. Immediately the vocal harmonies sweep one up in their charms and the incisive groove which follows has one eagerly ready to feast upon the song. The early sonic grip leads into energetic guitar play from Kyle Ginn and Will Smith which switches from a more expansive wash back to the tighter acidic groove and back throughout. Lively and persistent the song is sure to be an explosive live favourite and sets the release on track to ignite deeper pleasures.

As great as the previous track is the best song on the release steps up next in the fiery shape of The Last Word. Featuring the vocals of Renz Byrne from Never Means Maybe alongside Reynolds, the track is a feisty rampage of dusty melodics speared by thumping rhythms from drummer Scott Dillon. The muscular bass lines of Charlie O’Halloran under pin the smouldering guitar melodics and hooks perfectly to give a depth to the stirring breath of the song but it is midway when Byrne joins Reynold that glorious sparks fly, their union dazzling and impossible not to be enamoured by. The song is mighty in power and emotion, and of all the songs shows the depth of promise within the band and their writing.

     Down And Out has the envious job of following and does a fine job, the song a thumping treat of energies, air scorching melodics, and captivating vocals. It leads one keenly into the closing Virtues, another song which only has good thoughts going its way. Lively with a Paramore pop rock kiss to its attack, the song ticks all the boxes to leave one smiling. Inventive and impressively delivered it makes a strong end to a more than decent release.

In History is a strong and pleasing release showing a band finding impressive form and promise. Yes the release does not really standout on its own amongst many other similarly fuelled bands but one senses that will come. Held By Horses ensures the company of the EP is gratifying and enjoyable, really all that ever matters surely.

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RingMaster 15/09/2012

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Never The Last Breath – The Price Of Diversity

From out of the blue there is a new breath of freshness and wash of vibrancy and ingenuity that will surely inspire musicians and fans alike. The EP The Price Of Diversity from Never The Last Breath is impressive and dynamic showing a band with full confidence in their sound and ability as well as songwriting. In the two years since forming the quintet from the Burton/Derby area has evolved into an instinctive and complete band with total control in all they do, The Price Of Diversity is wonderful proof of the tight and creative band they have become.

As well as the bands obvious abilities what is great about The Price Of Diversity is the unpredictability of their music. They incorporates numerous flavours and influences from pop punk, death metal, alternative, hard rock and much more, absorbing and weaving it into their own distinctive and exciting sound. Music like this is what makes waking up each morning a joy.

The eight tracks that make up The Price Of Diversity are truly impressive from beginning to end and it is surprising and in many ways sad that Never The Last Breath have not come to the notice outside of their locality before now though with this EP that is sure to change, their time is now without doubt.  

After the brief image inducing intro of ‘Chimes’ the EP erupts into thrilling life with ‘Persona’. The track is immense with a stirring deep throaty bassline veining striking incessant guitar riffs and driving drums, with the infusing of prog rock melodies, death metal grunts and shouts, and seamless pace switches the track is impressive and even more so when the wonderful voice of Lisa starts to lace the song with her energy. Her great smooth voice blends with and compliments the harder sounds and attack so well, each element showing their strength without detracting from the other showing great creativity in the songwriting, composition, and production.

This track immediately stakes a claim for best song on the release but as the EP plays it is challenged song by song especially with the likes of the excellent engaging indie pop of ‘Back Down’ with a punk heart that illuminates the track, the heavy post punk riffage laden  ‘Fading Out’, and the blended metal/pop urgency of ‘Obsideo’. All tracks show the excellent diversity the band brings to their music; no track is similar to another with each having its own style that though influenced by many spices is distinctly Never The Last Breath. The combination of Manti and Dan (guitars), MilkyBar Kid (bass), Oolay (drums) and Lisa create music that defies description and labelling, and it would be a surprise if anyone could not find something for them within this release. From punk rock, metal of varied shades to indie pop fans there is something for everyone within the tapestry of sound Never The Last Breath creates.

As mentioned every song is striving for best track of the EP and really because of the quality of all it will vary in choice from listener to listener, saying that though the obvious contenders are two versions of the same song. ‘Chick’ is a brooding absorbing mix of light and dark moving from enticing and incessant metal grooves into a dark heavy into intrusive and threatening black weave of metal. Lisa’s voice enhancing every stage of the song backed by harsh guttural growls, think early Senser/Suicide Silence and it gives vague idea. The Price Of Diversity also contains a remix of the song where the vocals with and there is an aggressive death metal male lead now backed by Lisa. From this vocals change the dynamics of the song are effective wonderfully changed bringing a death metal intensity and primal passion to an already excellent song. There is nothing to choose between either tracks both are distinct but equally excellent.

  The Price Of Diversity verges on perfection, it really is that good and impressive.  As mentioned there is no way to accurately describe the sound of Never The Last Breath to others, maybe No Doubt crossed with Iwrestledabearonce and Asking Alexander, though it still is a mere clue only. What is evident is that this EP had to be checked out by all who want something special in their music.

RingMaster 31/07/2011

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