Hailing from London, melodic rock band All She Wrote release their debut EP Riven hoping to build upon and accelerate the buzz going around the city for the band from their live performances and across the UK after their previous single Weathered. The earlier song certainly made attention stand up and thoughts take the promise offered into a suspicion that the quartet was a band to keep an eye on. The new release is still promoting that same reaction and thought even though it manages to disappoint and please in equal strength.
Formed in the closing weeks of 2011, the foursome of Connor Crooks (vocals/guitar), Marc Smith (drums), Jonny Page (guitar) and Tommy Shillibeer (bass), took little time in building a potent fanbase across London on into the south of England through their shows. Weathered only increased their reputation and the awareness around them, the song a pleasing evocative persuasion which marked out the band. Riven continues in the same vein and approach even though it falls short of the same impressive and captivating levels of the single. Across its body there is a spark and almost a passion missing. Certainly the songs are accomplished and crafted with style whilst presentation and the skill of the band is impossible to doubt but something is missing to ignites songs, though the promise of the band is still more than a latent whisper.
The opening Prinicipio is an atmospheric instrumental which is beautifully composed and realised, its evocative narrative and soaring beauty the perfect lead into the EP and one to send tingles of excitement through to an eager appetite. It leads anticipation straight into the following Unjust which fires up its engines with fiery riffs and thumping rhythms, all designed and succeeding in igniting the senses. Once the vocals enter though something flat happens to the song and it is not just because of Crooks. The pilot light of the song just seems to go out and despite the alluring sounds there is a sense of anti-climax to the moment.
The following title track equally fails to hit the spot though the evocative tones of Crooks and the brewing drama of the song musically sparks stronger involvement for the passions and hopes. The track never exploits its most potent elements though to really punch through the heart and intensity of the narrative. It is a magnetic song which keeps that promise and suggestion of big things from the band ahead going and given closer attention and time reveals some impressive and imaginative ideas within the structure and its body.
Weathered makes its appearance on the EP next and stands as strong and persuasive as ever, combining a post hardcore muscularity to a melodic rock invention for a pleasing evocative adventure. From enticing guitar caresses to sinew clad riffs and firm imposing rhythms ridden by emotive vocals, the track is a deeply appetising encounter which shows you why there is a strength of excitement around the band, something next up Persona also promotes with its fire bred guitar snarl and rhythmic badgering wrapped in melodic flames and equally heated vocals. Combined with its predecessor the song makes All She Wrote a healthy prospect and reignites the thoughts which earlier tracks doubted.
The closing elegant Finis Principio completes a release which from not doing itself and the band justice in its earlier suasion manages to reassert All She Wrote as a band well worth keeping on the radar. Riven is a little hit and miss and maybe should have been stronger but it ultimately only cements earlier thoughts and appetite for the band, though the next release will need to have that fire in the belly or spark to continue the appetite one suspects. Reminding of bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, The Blackout, and Biffy Clyro in varying degrees, All She Wrote have some way to go to reach their potential but Riven makes you think they are still on course.
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