Classed as a hardcore/punk band in their own bio Australian band Villa Rise are one of an emerging breed that do not neatly fit in any department, this quintet alone veining their creations with a varied and flavoursome array of ideas and sounds. It makes for an intriguing and in some ways an initial undefined direction from many bands though one cannot say that about Villa Rise. As their debut EP Wastelands shows this is a band with clear ideas and thought as well as a craft and ability to achieve them.
Coming from Sydney the band took the decision to relocate to the UK not so long ago to hit the music scene here, making Brighton their base. Whether simply a confidence in their sound, the wish to try new pastures, or a statement about the scene in their homeland it was a brave move for a young band to undertake, though going on the evidence of Wastelands and the high profiled gigs on the horizon, they could and should find big rewards for doing so.
As mentioned they are classed as hardcore but the tracks with the EP reveal veins of metalcore and tech metal to same just two, the songs bursting with aggressive intensity, dark bulging riffs, thoughtfully crafted melodies, and a wonderful discordant touch that always hits the spot. There is also intelligent attention given to their lyrical side, the EP offering the thought that happiness is a state of mind as it brings the story of ’a young man who descends into madness, because of his inability to accept the positives and in his life.’
From the brief opening track Fracture and its sampled disaster broadcast the release erupts fully with the following Keeper. With a breathless assault from the first note the band thrusts through the ear with towering riffs and incisive melodic guitars from Ben Clink and Brendan Farneli whist the vocals of Jarrod Martin scowl and rage perfectly, his attack dripping anger and venom. The song twists and turns with a seamless flow and success as group vocals, stirring rhythms from drummer Alex Wood, and belligerent riffs from bassist Kyle Usher punctuate the great searching melodic manipulations.
Blindeye and the title track take over next, both impressive and deeply striking tracks though the latter of the two has an easier gait to been drawn to despite being further down the descent to disengaged sanity. Though each track can be taken singly very effectively there is a definite connection and bond that can only be felt and appreciated between the songs when taken as a whole, a provocative and thought inspiring package.
The EP is completed by Villains and Shadows. Again two songs as equal in quality and enterprise as those before them. In a parallel to the subject they are investigating the songs and EP become more challenging as it nears its end though never losing its firm creative grip and imaginative use of melodies, diverse sounds, and unpredictable invention.
Wastelands is also a grower that starts with an appealing and impressive first introduction but the more time spent in its company the more one finds its depths and creative treasures. Taking influences from the likes of Defeater, Alexisonfire and Comeback Kid, Villa Rise release the EP on April 30th via Monarch Records and as a free download. Already the band is proving a worthy new addition to the metal scene in the UK with Wastelands suggesting there is still much more to come.
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