Released by: Self-Released
Release Date: 15th September
Simon Roach – Vocals
Adam Hopton – Guitar
Ian Chadderton – Guitar
Adam Armour – Bass
Louis Catlett – Drums
Fire In Your Name
Long Way Down
I’ve never made a secret of my love for Syren City but that can be a double-edged sword when it comes time for new releases. Expectations are (unfairly) higher and so the chances of being let down are higher too. So the big question is – will this EP be a disappointment or a delight?
First track, “Bleed” is a great indicator of the rest of the EP, starting with some great bass and drums, joined by a lovely guitar riff and then those vocals on top. Simon Roach is one of my favourite vocalists – even though I can’t always make out every word he’s singing (does he really sing “left me with a nutsack in my hand” in “Fire In Your Name”? It seems unlikely!) There’s something about his voice and the vocal melodies he uses that really appeals to me. The track progresses and just gets better, with subtle guitar touches in the background that almost go unnoticed with the bass driving the song along.
The ‘gang’ style background vocals have always been used effectively by Syren City and this is still the case with Escape. If you didn’t like them before then you probably still won’t but for myself, I love ‘em. They give me the opportunity to shout along at a gig and at least sound something like the record!
I must mention the production too as it’s is such an integral part of the success of this release. There are parts when the drums and bass come to the front of the mix and the guitars drop back a bit and other times when the reverse is true. This might well be the case with other music but it’s not something that I’ve made a mental note of before. It’s subtly done but very effective. Nice!
“Our Disease” is next up and all the elements I love are present again. More great bass playing, the drum style that I actually noticed, so must be good because I’m not really a ‘drummy’ kinda guy. Brilliant guitars (I really like the brief Maiden-esque harmonies) that work to give this song a good, heavy feel. I can tell that this is going to be a live favourite for quite a while but they haven’t made it easy for themselves with some of the sections. Give it a listen and you’ll see what I mean!
I think the best way to categorise Syren City’s music would be post-hardcore that’s moved out of its bedroom with mum and dad and been around a bit, seen a few things but not got too old just yet. A bit of punk attitude, some post-hardcore pacing and jumpy bits but with other parts that are almost stadium rock at times. An excellent mix that ticks all my boxes and even adds a few new ones.
I won’t break down the elements of every song here because I run the risk of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, so to speak. Each part of the songs works well individually – a bassline here or a drum pattern there, for example – but put it all together and it’s just brilliant. Usually there is a particular thing about a band or performance that gives me a reason to listen to it again and again – Van Halen for the guitar, Paloma Faith for her voice etc. – but with Syren City, it’s everything combined that does it for me.
To sum up then, this EP is brilliant! If it’s not in my Top 5 releases for the year when it comes to list time at the end of December I’ll be very surprised. So despite my high expectations, “Escape” has certainly delivered and I’m actually excited for September 15th when everyone else can hear it. Or you could get yourself to The Fleece in Bristol on 1st August when Syren City headline a free Riff City show and I believe they might have some copies for sale then. If you’re an existing fan then you will LOVE this. If you aren’t, then give it a listen or two because it’s seriously good stuff and if you like up-tempo guitar based music, I think you will really enjoy this EP.
Written by Duncan Everson