If I Die Today – Cursed

If I Die Today_RingMaster Review

There is a torment in the heart of the new album from Italian post-hardcore band If I Die Today, and a tempestuous air which lives up to any ideas inspired by the name Cursed. There is also an invasive and at times punishing darkness and emotional trespass coursing through the veins of the encounter but equally an imagination loaded, gripping enterprise which ensures it easily stands out against any other similarly sculpted and bred offerings. Cursed is destined not to be for everyone, and will frighten many off with its searing intensity and emotion  but there is no escaping that it announces If I Die Today as one of the more fascinating incitements in the post and hardcore scene.

If I Die Today emerged in Mondovì in 2007 and by the early months of the following year had released their self-titled debut album through Wynona Records. The release enabled the quintet to tour their homeland and share stages with numerous bands, that success reinforced by the You Are Alone EP in 2009, again unveiled to strong and positive reactions. It was the same with second album Liars the following year, its potent presence luring greater attention and acclaim cross Europe, the band following it with shows across Italy, Hungary, France, and the UK as well as playing alongside artists such as Sum 41, Offspring, No Use For A Name, Simple Plan, Face To Face, Taking Back Sunday at Bologna’s Independent Days Festival. The band’s workload and reputation continued to grow as 2012 saw the release of the Postcards From The Abyss EP and If I Die Today playing with bands like Every Time I Die, Good Riddance, and H2O as well as going on a tour taking in Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and venues back home. Since then more venues and countries have been scorched by the band’s sound, before and after the recording of Cursed last year, which with its worldwide release through Sliptrick Records sets a new chapter in the rise of If I Die Today.

image1_RingMaster Review     It’s opening handful of seconds are an inviting temptation but in no time Jesus becomes a searing sonic wind blowing over thickly jabbing rhythms and coming loaded with spicy hook lined enterprise from the guitars. Vocalist Marco Fresia roars just as swiftly and intensely in the tempest whilst the caustic breath and heart of the track is perfectly tempered by the magnetic lure of the throaty bassline from Morgan Ferrua and the controlled rhythmic dance cast by drummer Davide Gallo. There is no escape from the sheer energy and emotional turmoil of the song though or its flesh scarring sound with its virulent onslaught as gripping as it is intimidating.

In the sheer wind tunnel like delivery of the song there are essences of bands like Kabul Golf Club, KEN mode, and Statues in its creative adventure and tenacity, a potent mix continuing in Adams which is another instant arousal of attention and appetite with thumping bold beats and bracing vocals. Settling down a touch once established, though still a bruising confrontation, the guitars of Antonio Aresu and Michele Testa spin a web of raw aggression and intricate sonic seducing whilst the bass creates another deliciously alluring and individual line of bait. As its predecessor, the song is an epidemic of punishing and invigorating incitement, pure abrasive adventure to get your teeth into and drool over before it fluidly flows into Lucifer and its own exhausting tempest of scarring emotion and increasingly volatile and creative ferocity.

Through Patrick and Elisabeth, band and album continues to wither flesh and create emotional tension but again with plenty of fresh twists and adventure to their canvases. The first of the enthralling pair comes in a hostility lit slow shuffle with numerous expulsions of energy and vocal angst but also tendrils of flirtatious grooves and addiction breeding rhythms. There is no compromising with an If I Die Today proposal and no chance of being subjected to anything mundane or predictable as shown by this and its successor. Elisabeth maybe offers less uniqueness within the album than other tracks but it too is ripe with seriously enticing slithers and caresses of sonic ingenuity and melodic seducing, all resulting in less than two minutes of exciting violation.

Faustus borders on barbarous with its bestial weight of sound and energy but counters it with a tapestry of punkish hooks and twisted sonic imagination that simply whips the passions into a maelstrom of lust whilst The Ancient Mariner prowls the psyche and taunts ears with its fusion of noise rock and punk in stormy hardcore antagonism. Both tracks are glorious, adding their full thrilling and inventive weight to the unrelenting persuasion of the album.

An even fiercer punk venom courses through Vincent, the song openly revealing the inspirations of the band with its Every Time I Die meets Converge like onslaught. There is plenty more in the depths and brutish body of the song of course, lots to get greedy over before the album’s title track gives Cursed a whole new climate to explore. The band is tagged as post-hardcore but the closer is the one song which perfectly fits that billing, the rest a wonderful bedlam of styles and flavours. With a blackened and frosty air to its invasive ambience over hauntingly cold scenery, the track is an inhospitable drift through a dark and emotionally tortuous landscape compellingly bringing the album to a highly provocative and startling end.

Instantly gripping, Cursed only gets more powerful, persuasive, and emotionally penetrating with very listen. It certainly lingers and leaves scars in its wake too, but only to please and make demanding reasons to go back into its merciless majesty. If I Die Today is one of the truly exciting bands in the post and neat hardcore scene, Cursed shows exactly why.

Cursed is out now through Sliptrick Records.

RingMaster 12/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Call It Off – Liars

by Nastassia Winge

Liars is not going to set new standards for punk rock but with its proudly romping pop punk veined with spicy essences of power pop, the latest EP from Dutch rockers Call It Off is certainly a refreshingly enjoyable encounter. It brings five easily accessible tracks to the ears, songs giving feet and voices an invigorated work out through anthemic urgency and melodic infectiousness. Liars may not drive you to a rooftop to roar about its creators, besides you will be too busy dancing, but it easily ignites an eager appetite and attention for the Eindhoven quartet.

Barely a year old, Call It Off are four musicians who unite with plenty of experience earned playing in different bands over previous years. Pulled together by a mutual love of punk rock, chatting leading to actually writing music together and subsequently the birth of the band last September, the foursome of vocalists/guitarists Maurice Bolier and Adrian DeLange, bassist Lesley Klaverdijk, and drummer Sergei Christian made their first mark with debut EP Lovers late 2013. A clean strike across the bows of attention, the release made a good base from which Liars has confidently moved the band’s songwriting and sound on. Its songs are short and punchy but come with a fluidity and swagger which capture ears and imagination like returning friends, the band’s influences an open colour across the release it is fair to say.

Those inspirations are unavoidable from the first moments of opener Famous Last Words, potent spicery of Green Day and Blink 182 a clear flavouring though there is plenty more to the songs than a cloning of past protagonists. callitoff_liarsFrom its first swipe of rhythms and riffs, from which a teasing melodic tendril wakes ears potently, the song strolls with melodies swinging from sturdy rhythms and jangling riffs aligned to appealing vocals. The first song also holds a rawer edge like a mix of Story Of The Year and NOFX, though this only glances over the rich melodic and sonic enterprise rippling within the highly pleasing opener.

The strong start is soon shown a pair of heels by the excellent Burning Bridges. From its first roar the song roams the awakened appetite with again jangle clad riffs and a great coaxing of power pop harmonies, the track potently contagious from its first breath. The dual vocals work even better on the second track whilst the moody bass tone delivered by Klaverdijk comes with a shadowed mischief to alone entrance the imagination. That Green Day reference is even stronger here but adds to the instant connection of the song, its simple but expressive invitation impossible to resist adding your own personal attributes, or in some of our cases, disasters to.

     Stuck With You has a slightly more reserved urgency yet still rocks like a hound in heat with infection soaked hooks and melodies. That strong whiff of Billie Joe Armstrong and co continues to brew a strong yet captivating smell whilst there are moments where the song offers small tinges of Hagfish to its sharp hooks and underlying rhythmic antagonism. As all the songs it is like an old returning friend more than a new encounter, a feeling which stops the track leaving thoughts awe struck but undoubtedly has them riveted and fully involved in its raucous revelry, a lure just as addictive in the stomp that is I Don’t Wanna. As anthemic as you can get, the track simply provokes the passions and body from start to finish, providing a punk bred festival of adrenaline and passion.

The EP closes with Call Me, a track with wandering melodic adventure and emotive textures. Driven by a spine of firm rhythms aligned to a throaty bassline, the song flirts with ears through evocative enterprise from the guitars and the fine blend of vocals as it sways and rolls across the ears with arguably a more adventurous seduction than found of the other tracks. It makes for a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable encounter.

As mentioned, Liars is not quite a release to set punk rock on fire but it definitely nudges it firmly to the presence and rich potential of Call It Off.

The Liars EP is available now via White Russian Records @ http://callitoff.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/callitoffNL

http://www.callitoff.nl/

8/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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