Admittedly it took a few listens to be ultimately persuaded but the Another Rainy Day EP, the debut release from UK melodic hardcore band Bleak Falls, is a rather decent outrage upon the ear. The first encounter with the release certainly was not one which led to great negativity or disinterest but did leave one unsure, the collection of songs almost needing a kind of deciphering by the senses. In the end though Another Rainy Day argues its case and it emerges as a release which leaves one satisfied and looking forward to their future creativity.
It is fair to say on the evidence of the EP that the Worthing quintet are still finding their sound so that right now they do not have a place distant from the rest but there is plenty to suggest it will come within the six tracks making up the release. It at times brawls with the senses and in others moments takes them on a creative insight into the imagination of the band. It is a thoughtfully crafted record which tries to be adventurous and in varying degrees succeeds without finding that unique breath. The release also raises an issue with the vocals where though frontman Ridgewell is a fine deliverer of venomous and passionate squalls, his bruising and raw confrontation an impacting element, his lack of deviation from a single stance abrasion does at times negate some of the invention and subtle creativity going on. It is something which will work itself out no doubt ahead but does prevent the EP finding the strongest depths of appeal.
For their debut though it is hard not to be the right side of impressed overall despite that grievance and from the opening instrumental the release, given the time, emerges as a pleasing and promising proposition. The enticing intro does not give a full picture of what is to come though the tight groove and expansive and acidic melodic surge does give a brief whisper musically of the intent of the band. As soon as Morning Light unleashes its muscles though the game is on and the senses in for a battering lined with inviting sonic caresses. The track is a fury of intimidating rhythms from the drums of Ben Vaughan and the predatory bass of Donald Wainwright whilst the sonic stinging and raptorial riffs from guitarists Christopher Shane-Chan and Paden Vaughan make powerful adversaries for the senses, the whole union offering a blistering engagement which captures the imagination and aligned to the song’s unpredictable switches in pace, intensity, and ideas is deeply contagious. It is a great song and arguably the moment where everything works perfectly together and shows why the band has garnered strong expectations of them ahead and live performance recognition whilst supporting the likes of Landscapes, The Long Haul, Isolated, Honour Is Dead, If Heroes Should Fail, and Set Your Sails.
The following Chapter Eighteen opens with a wonderful gnarly bass crawl from Wainwright and outstanding beats which recall the Killing Joke debut so many years ago, before erupting into a furnace of vocal malevolence, charged riffs, and engaging ideas. It is a song bringing good unpredictability to its sinewy presence with the senses chewing metallic riffs a mighty enticement spearing further sonic thought. It is a brief threat in length but one which again elevates the anticipation of much more from the band in the future.
Rollin’ On 60’s and Dear Brother do not manage to draw the same reactions, the concussive mix of caustic vocals over classic metal glancing melodic endeavours more formula than before but both are brought with skill and accomplished heart. The first of the two is another very brief riot, barely touching the two minute mark which works in its favour to be honest, leaving on a high before the raw onslaught exceeds its sell by date. The second is initially a pleasing weave of red hot guitar play and emotive melodic textures, the skills on show impressive and magnetic. After two minutes of molten enterprise the vocal scowls of Ridgewell enter and disrupt the affection earned. The track is calling out for another approach from him and one hopes they will reassess the vocals a touch in the future to match the acutely shaped sounds as open on the track.
Closing Pass A Promise is a track which returns to chewing up the senses and feeding the ear crunching riffs and searing sonic shapes of sound and emotion. It is a strong and again adventurous end to what is a generally pleasing release continues to inspire the belief that this is an impressive band in the making. For their first introduction Bleak Falls has through the far from flawless Another Rainy Day, still opened up a door of opportunities for their creativity and presence as a band.
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