Checking out recent single Crawl combined with the potency of previous releases, we declared The Survival Code a band it is so hard for us not to be excited about. That track was the second teaser for the London based outfit’s new album; an intimation alongside its predecessor of something to truly anticipate. Having feverishly devoured the full-length we can announce that Hopelessness Of People not only lives up to the promise offered by its singles but has emerged as one of the year’s major gems.
Formed by Dubliner Gary McGuinness, The Survival Code has bred and earned a rich reputation since emerging late 2011, each release seeing their imaginative rock bred sound openly growing and evolving backed by a live presence which has constantly proven itself a rousing experience. Though numerous musicians have been alongside lead vocalist guitarist McGuinness, it has been his long term link up with drummer/backing vocalist Tom Cook which has been the heart and power of the band. A trio for their acclaimed Matt Hyde (Trivium, Slipknot, Ash) produced 2015 debut album, MMXV, and the subsequently just as striking Broken Strings EP two years later, The Survival Code has slimmed down to just the core duo upon Hopelessness Of People and the band has never sounded more powerful, dynamically bold, and rousing.
With Hyde again producing, Hopelessness Of People takes mere seconds to entice and thrill ears with opener Same Skin. Its initial guitar shared lure is a calm intrigue ridden coaxing which soon flares up with rapacious energy as Cook’s beats court their own infectious trespass of a swing. McGuinness’ vocals are just as captivating, like the sounds a blend of melodic composure with underlying aggression and volatility. Embracing rock in its various shades alongside a twinge of punk irritability and metal bred ferocity, the track and band’s sound soon establishes its inescapable identity though with its tenacious almost stalking hooks and hungry grooves there is a certain Sick Puppies hue to the excellent encounter, a spicing which enjoyable lingers across the whole release in varying degrees.
Crawl is next to snare thick attention, immediately imposing with its senses harrying riffs and formidable rhythmic swing. From its already infectious threat, appetite wrapping grooves and imagination stoking twists combine for a web of contagious enterprise matched by the equally compelling vocals of McGuinness in turn backed by Cook’s potent tones. There is a touch of Coheed & Cambria to the track, a pinch of Adelitas Way too as well as the aforementioned Australians but the song rises to be all The Survival Code. As a single it got us lustful to hear Hopelessness Of People and still does each and every time roaring from within its midst.
A calmer entrance by the following Take It As It Is only brings a mutually eventful slice of melody rich and highly catchy hook loaded alternative nurtured rock where rhythms swing with muscular intent and emotion fuels vocal expression while Anything Goes These Days strolls with emotive tempestuousness in its heart and raw power in its snarly breath. In their individual ways, both songs had the body and imagination bouncing, the first especially with its keenly crafted unpredictability.
One of the album’s early tasters is next, Along The Way a single earlier this year which effortlessly hits the spot whilst leaving a lingering breath which again just draws intrigue and attention the way of the album. Though the track does not have the incendiary dynamics of Crawl, it is a virulent persuasion which again has the body dancing to its whims before Self Medicate wraps thoughts in its emotive balladry and the imagination in a tapestry of creative and vocal intimation. A slow burner compared to its companions within the album, the song just grew by the listen enticing purposeful contributions from hips and vocal chords.
In so many ways the track epitomises the almost deceitful virulence of Hopelessness Of People, quietly nagging away yet openly seducing with its resourceful breeding; a template just as successful behind the decisive enterprise of Not Working. It is another which seems to be a touch subdued compared to other tracks but the truth is clear when from nowhere we found ourselves repeating melodies and a chorus which had burned itself into the memory.
Damn these Survival Code boys are devious and at it again within the smouldering and increasingly fiery and just a bit funky This Time Around. McGuinness and Cook unite to weave a contagion of hooks and melodic grooving as tenacious as the expectations devouring exploits of the song, repeating the feat with new imagination for the quite outstanding and devilishly tempting Too Late and in turn Next Step. Another major favourite here, the second of the two borders on the feral, its metal seeded antics spring grooves which demand subservience and riffs which harass to the point of addiction. Around them, melodic flames and vocal angst roar to add to the undiluted captivation.
The final pair of Integrity and Goodbye proves there is truly no moment within the album which is lightweight in presence and enjoyment. The first has a vocal calm which rests perfectly within the more unevenly tempered air of the song though McGuinness’ delivery has a hint of prickliness to it too while the closing offering is a slice of magnetic rock ‘n’ roll which too mixes hushed aggression with volatile energy whilst casting an infectious wind of melody woven turbulence and emotive exclamation.
Quite simply releases like Hopelessness Of People are the reason our hunger to devour new music is more lustful than ever. It is an appetite which has been rewarded so many times this year alone but few as relentlessly and powerfully as by The Survival Code.
Hopelessness Of People is released Friday 31st August, through Good Deeds Music Ltd.
Pete RingMaster 30/08/2018Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright