With their acclaimed last album, Divided We Fall, still raising high praise and attention, US rockers Flaw release a companion piece in the shape of new EP United We Stand. Offering four new tracks and a pair of live cuts of songs first appearing on the highly successful 2001 debut album Through The Eyes, the EP is a prime slice of Flaw’s melodically rich and enticingly muscular rock ‘n’ roll.
Released through Pavement Entertainment, United We Stand is a fiery often irritable fusion of nu and melodic metal with hard rock driven by similarly fired emotion and intensity. As soon as opener I’ll Carry You envelops ears it is easy to see why the release is described as a companion and continuation of Divided We Fall though it soon shows it has plenty of its own character and imagination to be a fresh and potent step on. The first track coaxes ears with a suggestive melody, Jason Daunt’s guitar a swiftly captivating lure soon joined by the potent and distinctive tones of vocalist Chris Volz as bold rhythms stir. As in turn sonic flames escape that melodic enticement a similar urge hits the throat of Volz, his initial smoulder becoming an emotive roar before the crescendo of sound settles once again. The magnetic cycle repeats with increasing appeal, the track a crackling fire of sound and heart further stoked by the enterprising swings of drummer Dan Johnson and Tommy Gibbons’ brooding bass.
It is a striking song quickly backed up by the darker air of Fall Into This. Bass stirs the senses with melancholic prowess initially before the wiry heat of the guitar cradles the melodic expression of Volz. It is a captivating mix of dark and light, emotional and aural shadows colluding with again fire bred textures as the song croons with infectious dexterity. At times imposingly heavy and frequently seductively inviting, it is a fascinating incitement before My Style uncages its volatile adventure, submerging ears in a Staind meets One Minute Silence like drama. It too has tempestuousness to its heart which infests the sounds shaping its proposal and it too leaves ears and appetite thickly satisfied.
The live tracks are Only The Strong and Payback; two rousing encounters showing why Flaw is such a powerful and skilful draw on stage which leaves Such Is Life to bring United We Stand to its conclusion. There is a raw edge and air to the whole of the EP but is especially vocal in the final track, feeling like it was recorded live in one take to pull the listener right onto a face to face union. With each passing second it becomes more ferocious and turbulent but without losing its melodic craft as the EP come to a fine close.
In some ways there are no new surprises within United We Stand, the release Flaw as you know and fans embrace them, but rarely do you feel like old waters are being stirred only fresh pleasure.
United We Stand is out now digitally and physically via Pavement Entertainment.
Pete RingMaster 05/09/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright