Though only forming in the dying embers of 2010 UK melodic post hardcore/rock band When Words Fail has and are ripping attention from elsewhere to look in their direction and with the release of their debut EP Eyes On Everything they surely stand on the precipice of explosive acclaim and recognition.
The quintet from Swindon is amongst a burst of bands fusing melodic rock with an intense metal/hardcore sound, and on the evidence of the three tracks that make up the EP they are one of the more instinctive and creative. From the first song there is a confidence that drips from the sound and an obvious skill to vary songs from each other and within whilst still keeping a sound that is theirs alone. Initial thoughts before letting the music immerse the senses was that this would be another competent band that do all the right things well but simply slip alongside many others to blur into one. From the opening title track that expectation was completely chased from the room, the songs unique, vibrant and most of all wonderfully satisfying.
‘Eyes On Everything’ opens up the fun and initially is a song in shape and form that one would expect from this type of band. Well written and crafted it merges swooping melodies from eager guitars and the fine clean vocals of William Hargreaves backed nicely by guitarist DJ Harman and his slightly raspier tones. The song up to three quarters in is solid and enjoyable but once the striking and melodically intrusive almost progressive guitars sounds from Harman and James Broadbank explore the song it raises to a much more intriguing and loftier level., evidence there is much more to this band, which the following and in this personal view better songs prove.
Second track ‘Over Again’ announces its arrival with strong melodic rock guitar riffs brought forth alongside thrusting and heavier chugging power and deep basslines from Scott Betz. If there is a criticism of the release it is that Betz’s play is overpowered on the songs and often one has to strain to find his undoubted skill clearly enough. Drummer Jamie Loddington powers the track forward with a firm and direct attack without destroying the melodic side, allowing the again great vocal mix to reign over the song. The track punches hard whilst at the same time caressing the ear with intelligently crafted songwriting and melodies.
‘Something For Nothing’ closes of the release with more and even stronger pummelling riffs and rhythms, the song the winner of ‘best in show’ on the EP. As much as the first track is agreeable and strong this is the forte of the band, hitting hard whilst enticing and teasing with elegant melodic and emotive choruses. Once more When Words Fail show how accomplished and skilled they are as a unit and individually, as well as being songwriters that know how to craft songs without resorting to easy tricks or going for the obvious just to grab easy but unsubstantial attention.
Eyes On Everything is a definite check out release, its freshness and vibrancy sure to revitalise opinions in what is at times a predictable and stale genre currently. To be honest as great as the EP is one still gets the impression there is much more to come from and within the band. The feeling is that they have yet to truly find their distinct and surely what will be a truly impressive sound. The anticipation is immense for what is ahead but for now When Words Fail has just given the end of the year a major boost of quality.