Favorite Track: Predictable
Crossing The Limits have released their debut EP, titled "Perserverance." I enjoy the style of music that this band plays, so I was excited to check out their music, and I will say this: "Perserverance" is a strong debut. The opening track "Won't Settle" is instantly memorable, from the melodies to the guitar parts. It's a pretty upbeat track, full of energy from start to finish, especially in the anthemic chorus and powerful bridge. "Predictable" has some pretty impressive guitar parts as well, but yet again, the chorus on it is definitely a highlight, especially with the incredible vocal performance during it. Not to mention that this song also has some pretty good lyrics (“I won’t be sorry for being myself”)."Reverse" has an intro on here that stood out to me quite a bit as far as the composition goes. It also has some extremely memorable melodies all throughout the track, but that’s something you’ll hear quite a lot of throughout this entire EP. “Chaos” comes in strong with a huge intro full of energy and passion. The composition on here is pretty interesting as well, especially in the catchy chorus. Right away, “My Own Way” feels like it’s going to be a great closing track, and it definitely is. The bridge on here is definitely one of the best parts of it, mainly because of how well it builds up as it goes on. The bass and drums on this track are also pretty interesting and stood out a little bit. Another thing that stood out about this track in particular was one of its lyrics: “We lose ourselves sometimes, looking for things that we can’t find, you’ve got time to turn your wrongs into rights.” Overall, I really liked this EP. I think it’s pretty impressive for a debut release and that a lot of these songs are very well-written and just memorable tracks in general.
Favorite Track: An Open Letter
Luke Rainsford has released his latest EP, titled "I Don't Deserve To Be Loved." The EP starts out well with the opening track, "Looking For Your Ghost." The vocals have so much emotion right off the bat (which is something you'll hear plenty of on this EP), and so do the honest and detailed lyrics, such as "- “I always tried to find the bright side when I think about your bedside as I held your hand for the last time and I start to just break down." The song was written well, to the great melodies found there. "I Can't Keep My Promises" has an interesting guitar riff in the beginning and has a bit of energy in its overall instrumentation at first, but slows down a little bit as it goes on. "An Open Letter" has a vocal performance that absolutely blew me away. It's full of so much passion, shows off his voice very well, and the vocal harmonies thrown in add even more to the performance and the song as a whole. Another thing I loved about this track is the songwriting. Not only does it show great examples of Rainsford's honest lyrical style (“I’m sorry I wasn’t around for your final breath. I spent your final moments still fixated on myself.”), but it also has really good dynamics and interesting composition. Following this track is the lead single "Sweet Briar," and this song was definitely a great choice for the lead single. It's a much more upbeat track when compared to the others and it definitely stands out a lot. There's just so much energy on this track and the melodies are really catchy. The following track, "What I Can't Believe," also has some pretty good melodies, as well as some darker guitar parts that really stood out to me. The final track on this EP is called "What I Hide Beneath," and it's a perfect album closer. There's so much emotion throughout this song, especially towards the end. Speaking of, the song's outro is another highlight and a great way to finish this EP. Overall, I really liked this EP. From the incredible lyrics to the impressive composition to the passionate vocals, I think that this EP only further proves just how talented Luke Rainsford is as an artist.
Favorite Track: Sleep
Defect have released their EP “House Of Cards.” I quickly learned that they played some sort of rock music, and I was pretty intrigued and curious to hear what exactly their music sounded like. The lead single “House Of Cards” lures the listener in with the catchy hook in the intro and incredible vocals that only get better and better as the song goes on. “Sleep” is more of an acoustically driven track, which surprised me a little bit. The lyrics on here are incredible, with the lines ”I guess we know by now I’m no hero. You said you wish you were brave like me, but I’m barely holding together now,” being good examples. The pre-chorus builds up to the chorus well and in the bridge, the instrumentation hits harder and the vocals get better, preparing for one fantastic final chorus. The song sounds so simplistic, yet it’s something that is so unique and that stands out a quite a bit. "Another Excuse To Hate Me” starts out with an acoustically driven intro, but it’s not long before the harder and darker guitars come in. The song has some very interesting guitar and bass parts that go well together, as well as a hard hitting chorus with some great melodies and a passionate vocal performance. Overall, I really liked this EP. Each of these songs both impressed and pleasantly surprised me and this is an EP I would definitely recommend if you’re into rock music.
Favorite Track: The Ride
Until We Get Caught have released their highly anticipated sophomore EP, titled “Lost Years.” I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard from this band in the past, so I was curious to see what they had to offer with this new release. “The Ride” starts the EP off well with a nice intro with some synths in the background. The vocalist of this band has a good voice and this song shows it off well. The melodies all throughout the track, especially the chorus are pretty interesting and make the song stand out a bit. “Good Life” has a good balance of screaming and singing, especially with a very catchy chorus that you’re going to want to sing along to. I love the guitars on this track and the following track, lead single “Stranger Tides.” This track has some fantastic drum parts and some of the best hooks and melodies on the entire EP. “State Lines” is a very energetic and fast-paced track, but the tempo change and breakdown are some of the highlights of it for me. “Mess” is a slower and acoustically led track that closes this EP out. It has really good melodies and and a fantastic vocal performance, concluding the EP on a pretty strong note. Overall, I liked this EP. There are definitely some catchy and memorable moments across these five songs and if you’re a fan of easycore music, then “Lost Years” is a release that you’ll want to keep on your radar.
Favorite Track: Tinted
Upswing have released their debut EP titled “Wallflower.” I enjoyed this band’s debut single when it came out last August, so I was curious to see what this EP sounded like. “Proleptic” is an introductory track that transitions well into the next track, “I’m Holden Caulfield, What’s Your Excuse?” I love the vocal style on here. The chorus is really good and the drums in the post-chorus is incredible. Up next is the band’s debut single “There Is No Sin Or Virtue, Just You And Me.” The song starts out softer, but gets more energetic. That softer instrumentation gives the passionate vocals more of a chance to shine, letting you truly hear the emotion. “Summer’s Over, Time To Grow Up” has an interesting intro with incredible guitar parts. The vocals on here are very passionate and the drums and bass impressed me a lot as well. “Tinted” is overall a solid pop punk track with catchy melodies and incredible lyrics like “All I can see is an empty facade and the words that you breathe are still etched on my heart” and ”My glass bones have been so easy to cave in; you cut my fins off before I had a chance to swim. The shades have weakened my desire to fight.; I find it hard to see you in this different light.” “Low Flying Birds” is an acoustically driven track with some very interesting guitar parts throughout its entirety. Overall, I thought this EP was pretty good. There were some moments on here that stood out a lot and show how much talent and promise that this band has.
Favorite Track: I Hope
Slick Grip have released their latest EP, “Mindful.” I heard their song “Epiphany” last year and was very impressed by it, and I’ve been a huge fan of their music since then, so I was ecstatic to finally hear this EP, and it did not let me down at all. If anything, it further proved what makes this band so special in the first place. The opening track “I Hope” kicks off the EP in a very interesting way. It starts off acoustically but eventually builds up. There’s so much emotion in the vocal performance, from beginning to end. A lot of the vocals on here are a lot more aggressive when compared to the four tracks that follow, which is something that I didn’t expect. but it was definitely a pleasant surprise. The lyrics on here are fantastic as well, with lines like ”This is for the ones who doubted me” and “Be careful, be sane. That’s not me, cause what I’ve always wanted doesn’t promise safety.” “Epiphany” is definitely a standout track. Not only does it feature Ryan Kirby from Fit For A King (and that feature was... interesting), but it also shows more of the pop punk influences in this band’s sound, as well as showing off the talent that the vocalist of this band has. Another song that leans more towards the pop punk side is the following track, “Noxious.” There’s so much energy from start to finish, the guitars on here are very impressive, and the melodies on here are great. “Torn” has a bit of a darker intro, yet the guitar riff and drumbeats driving the track are still catchy as ever. The song has an unexpected tempo change before the verses come in. The chorus has some pretty good lead guitar parts that honestly deserve more credit than they get. “Proud” has some nice guitar harmonies in the begging and a very impressive guitar solo towards the end. The melodies all throughout the track are good, the vocal performance on here really shines, and the chorus is one you’ll want to sing along to. Overall, I enjoyed this EP. The band have showcased their sound well across these five songs, each one showing a new side of the band’s sound.
Favorite Track: Coincide, Collide
Cove have released their latest EP, “A Concious Motion.” Fast paced drums drums kick off the opener and lead single “Coincide, Collide” before the darker guitars come in. The intro on here really caught my attention and the melodies on here are quite interesting, making it a great start to the EP. With energetic instrumentation and screamed vocals, “Solis” is definitely a more aggressive track, and all that aggression makes it stand out even more than it already does. “All I Believe” has a softer and more melodic verse mixed with some harsher vocals later on in the track. “Host” is an interlude with some softer instrumentation, transitioning into the final track, “Reflect, Resolve.” It has a dark intro that interested me from the moment I first heard it. The vocal performance on here is incredible and the melodies throughout the track are great as well. Overall, I enjoyed this EP. There were many moments on here that stood out to me and I think this band stands out a bit in their genre.
Favorite Track: Alice
Michigander has released his debut EP, “Midland.” I’d heard good things about this singer, so I decided to check out this EP when it dropped and I was very pleasantly surprised. “5 A.M.” is a catchy track all around, from the instrumentation to the vocal melodies. It impressed me from the beginning and makes for a great opener. “Alice” has even more catchy melodies, especially in its fantastic chorus. This is a song that I honestly could see being played on the radio. “Fears” starts off with drums and acoustic guitar at first, then the instrumentation builds up and each instrument adds more to the track. This song shows off his voice well and has some good lyrics. “Falling” is a soft ballad primarily led by vocals and piano. I absolutely love the lyrics on this one, especially the line “It feels like I’m falling and I don’t know where I land.” “Stolen”
has some interesting echoing synths in the intro, followed by piano. From the beginning, you can tell that this track is going to be full of emotion, and you can hear it through every performance on here, from the vocals to the instrumentals. The closing track “East Chicago, IN” is a very unique one. It’s softer, but yet it’s also more upbeat with the drumbeat driving the track. The softer drums and more ambient guitars let the vocals show, and the vocals are fantastic.
While it is somewhat of a softer track, things pick up during the bridge, foreshadowing a huge final chorus. The song fades out just how it started, closing the EP perfectly. Overall, I really liked this EP. I was very impressed by it and by the talent that this artist has and shows very clearly across these several songs.
Favorite Track: The Dark Mark
After two years, Horcrux have finally released their debut EP, “The Dark Mark.” I had heard of this band a few times in the past, but I checked out their music for the first time when I heard this EP, and I was immediately blown away. The opening track, “Resilient,” has an interesting intro. The composition on there is unique and the guitar playing is very impressive (but there’s much more where that came from). If you thought that was aggressive, just wait until you hear “Wormtail.” It’s not only the most aggressive as far as lyrics go, discussing the topic of violence, but every other aspect of the song is heavier as well, especially during the incredible breakdown. The title track, “The Dark Mark,” is a bit of a darker track lyrically, but sheds a bit more of a positive light at the end with the line “This is eating me alive but I can’t let it win.” “Home” has another unique intro that brings some other elements into the mix, making it stand out even more. The vocal style on here really stood out to me as well, and the drums and guitars on here are very impressive. I really enjoyed the lyrics on “The Outsider” as well. It seems to be telling the story of a friendship that eventually fell apart, and talks about how one person is worried of losing any other friends they have and wants to keep their true friends closer. It’s an interesting take on a universal topic that I feel like a lot of people, myself included, can definitely relate to. The closing track, “Live Through Me,” is easily one of the most emotional tracks on this entire EP. The lyrics discuss what it’s like to lose a loved one, but eventually accepting it (“I know I have to accept, I have to do this for you.”) Overall, I loved this EP. I was very impressed by each song on here, and I’ve constantly come back to it since it was released.
Favorite Track: Weak
Virginia based House & Home have finally released their debut EP, titled "Fully Grown." Ever since I heard this band's debut single, I knew there was something special about them that makes them stand out in the pop punk scene, and the songs on this EP just continue to prove my point. "Afterthought" has some incredible melodies right from the beginning. The song stars out a bit softer, but gradually builds up as it goes on. The guitar parts on here are great, and the chorus shows off the unique vocal style that the singer of this band has, as well as some good vocal harmonies thrown into the mix. "No Face" has some darker instrumentation, switching things up a little bit. The guitar parts on here are very well-composed and stand out a lot, and the band's composition and songwriting style are two things I've admired about their sound. The drums add in more energy right before the final section of the song, and the vocals during that section show so much passion and emotion. "Weak" has some pretty memorable melodies as well, especially in the verses. This song really gives the vocals a chance to shine, especially during the chorus. Instrumentally, the bridge builds up so well to the final chorus and adds more to the song. The final track, "God Forbid," could arguably be the most aggressive track on here in each and every way possible. The lyrics are very dark, and the hard-hitting instrumentation captures and portrays that emotion very well. I love the vocals in the pre-chorus and chorus, and it might just be my favorite vocal performance on the entire EP. The instrumentation really picks up the pace in the second verse, while the ending slows things down a bit but still hits harder than ever instrumentally. Overall, I loved this EP. To say I was impressed by the band's continuous creativity in their songwriting would be a complete understatement. I've always believed that this band's music stands out so much, and if these four songs don't show that even more, then I don't know what else will.