Having introduced themselves in fair style with their self-titled debut EP, UK outfit Erica Drive have provided an even more potent roar for ears to enjoy with its successor The Hate, The Hurt, The Healing. Offering up four tracks built on a blend of pop punk and alternative rock, the new EP is an easy to embrace affair showing revelling in the growth in the band’s sound and songwriting since its predecessor.
Formed in 2017 when vocalist/guitarist Matt Underdown and guitarist Frank Harding started working on song ideas, the Bournemouth hailing band soon became a quartet with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Sam Firmin and drummer Damien Carter. Already stirring up the local live scene, the band released their first EP which subsequently earned over 10,000 plays on Spotify. The four then became five with the addition of bassist Damian Bruton, the quintet soon after joining producer Mike White (Wolf Culture) to record The Hate, The Hurt, The Healing, with its mastering duties eventually handled by John Naclerio (My Chemical Romance).
The EP swiftly grabbed ears with opener All We Are, the EP’s lead track which does exactly that, leading the release in sound, adventure, and enterprise. As rhythms place a sturdy hand on the senses, guitars cast a dextrous web of riffs and sonic endeavour, a formidable fusion quickly commanding attention. Things relax a touch as Underdown’s vocals add their melodic tones, the song hitting a lively stride inflamed with pop punk boisterousness. Carter’s bold swings drive the captivating encounter with relish, the guitars shaping its body for the equally alluring vocals with Firmin providing potent backing to Underdown’s lead.
The following Better Man almost teases with its opening union of chirping guitar and reflective voice; a calm start growing in drama and muscle with every passing second before hitting its own tenacious stride. Imagination and enterprise accompany its every move, it too simply impressing and pleasing by the listen.
The final pair of Anchor and The Fall provides a just as enjoyable second half to the EP, the first a punchy infectious affair as catchy as it is rousing. Our favourite moment within the release, the track mixes a vociferous snarl with virulent catchiness but equally a composed restraint at times which emphasizes its melodic prowess. In turn the closing track maybe did not stir the appetite as fully as its predecessors, but with its intimate heart and melodic caresses provides a highly satisfying conclusion; the fire in its belly only adding to its enjoyment.
It is fair to say that the Erica Drive sound is not truly unique yet but it has freshness and vitality which added to the band’s instinctive imagination provides a thoroughly enjoyable listen whilst suggesting they could have a rather exciting future ahead as they breed real individuality.
The Hate, The Hurt, The Healing is released April 12th.
Pete RingMaster 11/04/2019
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