Already embraced by eager enthusiasm and acclaim from fans and media for their live performances and earlier releases, the new EP from UK alternative rock band Speaking in Shadows, is definitely not going to derail their already potent ascent. The Lies We Lead EP with six highly accomplished and magnetically appealing songs will certainly enhance the reputation and stature of the young Nuneaton quintet whilst providing further potent proof of the band’s potential. It is not an encounter to push the band outside of the pack though, or to define new boundaries or adventures in their genre, but for a refreshing and easily enjoyable proposition there is little to dismiss.
Formed in 2010, Speaking in Shadows has already awoken attention with their debut album Standing at the Edge of 2011 and the single Sweet Gemini of last year. Both put the band on the map with promising strength which the band’s new release continues with pleasing efficiency. The Lies We Lead also continues the maturity and refinement in the band’s sound as hinted at in the previous single, to provide songs which no matter their success in persuasion cannot be denied their polished and passionate potency.
The EP grips ears and imagination right away with its first pair of songs making a thoroughly persuasive and exciting start. Splinters kicks things off and from its first breath is winding a sultry tendril of melodic bait around the senses, its lure swiftly accentuated by a broader stroke of sonic coaxing from guitarists Lewis Sketchley and Ali Carvell. Just as sprightly muscle bulging rhythms from drummer Grant Sketchley join the enticement aligned to the deliciously throaty and dark mannered bass sound of Sam Powell. It is a dramatic mix making a vigorous entrance from which springs a restrained plateau of gnarly jabbing riffs and the instantly impressive vocals of Adam Smith. This is just another short flirtation in the rampancy of the song, its burst into a rigorous blast of sonic toxicity and rhythmic barbarism as anthemic as it is imposing. The track continues to twist and show an inventive enterprise which grips the imagination and emotions forcibly; it’s bullish yet melodically seducing creative charge a spark to raise real appetite for the release.
Its successor Technicolour Trainwreck similarly has its sinews and energy on the front foot from the off, riffs and rhythms planting down a firm enticing whilst grooves and melodic potency wraps incitingly around the punchy spine of the song. There is a swagger to it and a pop rock attitude which only adds to the swinging gait and captivating infectious call of the song, its anthemic chorus equally as enticing. A break into a slow harmonious passage is not as successful though the rhythmic climb out reasserts the song’s potency whilst overall the track gives the first a run for its thrilling money if without matching its heights.
Misled Soldiers is the next provocative track, its politically charged wording matched by the passion and rich flame of the music but both sides pale against the opening standards set. To be fair the evocative melodic hues of the song are perfectly crafted and delivered whilst vocally again Smith excels, ably aided by the rest of the band against a good rhythmic framing. There is plenty to please thoughts, the trying of a raw disdainful delivery from the frontman intriguing whilst the more hard rock stroll at its core makes for a good lead, but the indefinable spark which ignited its predecessors is missing preventing a good song being a great one.
The same can be said about both Breaking Silence and Moths, two tracks which have all the depth and tenacity to make a lingering impression but fail to find the same rich invention to flirt with and then seduce the passions. The first of the two opens with a raucous and abrasive texture of guitar and intensity which reins in its grazing for the vocals of Smith to unveil their narrative. The bass of Powell again impresses greatly whilst the guitars design a web to capture and hold firmly the imagination, but with a predictable yet thoroughly anthemic mass voiced chorus with feverish energy and intent, the song slips into expectation feeding realms. It is still another rich showing of the band’s craft and growing expertise before making way for its initially acoustically driven successor. The elegant and evocative caress of guitar is a charmed beauty to which Smith again shows enthralling expression and quality. It is an absorbing encounter which should have been left fully acoustic as once the band around midway bring their full body of sound, the song loses its singular enticing to become another song to fit perfectly in the well of many other strong songs melodic rock encounters. It is a missed opportunity but still a highly appealing song to whet the appetite for future ventures, as is the closing title track. The song is pure rock pop, its passionate and emotive verses a colourful venture with great rhythmic emprise whilst its chorus is an instinctive anthem for voices and emotions to fully engage with. Not the strongest track on the EP but the most contagious and an obvious lead into the release, the song brings The Lies We Lead to an enthusiastic and highly pleasing close.
It is fair to say that Speaking in Shadows is still evolving its sound and presence whilst The Lies We Lead is arguably an encounter which promises more than its delivers, but with both providing an invigorating experience it is hard not to take a real shine to the band.
The Lies We Lead is available now @ http://speakinginshadows.bigcartel.com/
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