Last year UK rockers Of Allies made their entrance with the excellent and ultimately acclaimed Tempers EP, a release riddled with impacting flavours and the potential of major things ahead. Now the Hull based quartet return with its successor Fragments, an encounter releasing much of the promise offered previously, breeding even more seeds for loftier ventures, and confirming the band as one of Britain’s most exciting emerging alternative/melodic rock propositions.
The band’s first EP for the main lit up ears and the imagination with its vivacious energy and skilled enterprise, revealing the early prowess and invention of songwriting and sound. Fragments leaps on from there whilst embracing all the qualities which made Tempers shine. The melodies and dramatic intensity are still flourishing but now woven into tracks which pulsate with new maturity and greater creative colour. The release also explores a wider expanse of sound whilst whipping up an even greater anthemic and fiery, not forgetting irresistible proposal. Inspirations come from bands such as Deaf Havana and Deftones but Fragments declares Of Allies as having their own unique presence now.
Fragments opens with its title track first and is instantly filling ears with thumping rhythms and a full, bold tempest of riffs and sonic persuasion. The guitars of Rich Nichols and Tom Hewson swallow the senses with imposing yet warm endeavour, invigorating the appetite whilst the song establishes a foot hold in the imagination. It relaxes into a less intensive stroll soon after, the dark tones of bass from Nick Tyldsley a potent temper and compliment to the expressive melodies and impressive vocals of Nichols. Bursts of muscular energy and sound driven by the precise and heavily impacting beats of Danny Barrick erupt as a chorus to gripping effect whilst the drummer’s restrained rhythms only enhance the mellower caresses between stormier moments. There is plenty more to the song though, a fascinating if sometimes understated invention flirting with attention throughout the song, their little twists and sparks of unpredictability adding to the creative theatre of the excellent starter.
As impressive though the song is though, it is quickly outshine by its outstanding successor ONE19. The band’s new single, the irresistible incitement launches from a forceful caress into a prowling and anthemic, heavy stride of vocal temptation amidst a rousing tenacity of sound and energy. Reminding of the now demised Always The Quiet Ones, band and song create a rugged and invigorating tirade of riffs and rampantly rolling rhythms but equally explores explosive melodic enticement and vocal crusading. If anyone is looking for a doorway in EP and Of Allies, there is definitely no finer compelling way than through this blistering invitation.
The following Old Bones has a similarly climatic atmosphere to its more restrained presence, the song spilling powerful and pungent surges of passion and skilful endeavour alongside just as superbly crafted and magnetic melodies and flowing harmonies from across the band. Another strong aspect to all songs is their length, all barely exceeding three minutes, the final track being the only exception, but within that relatively short period creating a busy and unrelenting exploration of imagination and craft which borders on finishing too soon but leaves the band exploiting the old adage, “leave them wanting more”, beautifully.
Fourth track Tempers is a snarling encounter from its first breath, a sonic breeze sparking agile riffs and barbarous rhythms, though all converges for an inviting rather than hostile bait which continues to excite and coax within the subsequent croon of impassioned vocals and seducing melodies. The song is a maelstrom of diverse and riveting exploits though, at times a gentle evocative smooch and in others a raging torrent of boisterous and passion riling intensity. Once more everything from the predatory bass sounds to the slightly psychotic adventure of the guitars, the reserved and concussive might of drums to the ever captivating vocals, comes together superbly for another thrilling provocation.
The EP ends with the bewitching Call It Home, an entrancing flight of melodic rock which has an essence of bands like Heights and Shattered Skies to it whilst painting its own unique canvas of ingenuity. The passion in the heart of the song sees it eventually brewing up an intensive and explosive finale, thoughts and emotions left breathless and by the final note wishing the release was longer.
The Fragments EP is the coming of age Of Allies in songwriting and musically, whilst also suggesting this is still only the beginning of their rise, which is seriously exciting such the excellence on offer here.
The Fragments EP is available now through most online stores
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