I’ve been away for the past week, hence the lack of activity, and in that time there’ve been a few more submissions sent in, the majority of which are featured below. Now that I’m home hopefully I’ll be posting ‘regularly’ again, although unless something relatively big streams this week I’m a little lost until Record Store Day on Saturday, which I expect I’ll be writing about.
Sinai Vessel – Profanity (EP) I chose to start with this release, because if any of these submissions are worth listen to it’s this one, and I’m slightly disappointed in myself for waiting this long to really give it a shot. Profanity is a brilliant EP from a brilliant band, fraught with underlying emotion and brimming with an energy that is well utilised. Vocalist Caleb Cordes tells tales of youthful naivety with adult nostalgia, and he gives it everything in the process, rising from sombre to shouting on a whim, as is the case on emphatic opener Cats which starts slow and builds, deliciously arranged and stunningly expressed in every aspect, adding something more with each verse before an excellent scaling crescendo. Profanity is an EP with heart, and there’s a rare passion that lights it, shining throughout, and sparking in time with Joshua Herron’s impressive drumming and Cordes powerful guitars. Second track Greatham is little more than a short, cruising, acoustic track, whilst following selection Cuckold is one of the EP’s best, although each stands out for their own reasons. Closer Index In The Oval was my favourite track, and it reminded me greatly of The Hotelier’s most recent full-length as guitar chords and drums provide a jaunty backbone before another crashing peak. The Nick Drake cover that rounds off the Bandcamp version of the EP is a solid addition, capping off a superb collection of punk songs with an emotional narrative to them that sets them apart slightly. Describing the EP as ‘punk for sissies’ if fitting, because there’s a depth here that benefits the music greatly, and I wholly recommend checking this out – if you haven’t already considering it’s been out for several months. 
House Olympics – …And My Mind Is Restless (EP) House Olympics play emo slightly differently, and as a result their take on the genre is one that stands out amidst all the other bands surfacing in the wake of a ‘revival’ of sorts. Their debut EP is one which features aggressive, deeper vocals along the line of smaller bands like Grammer and Hey Joni loosely, and it relies less so on traditional tiptoeing guitar melodies – although they do still feature. This also means there’s more of an energy to …And My Mind Is Restless that releases of this nature sometimes have to make up for by upping the emotion, as is the case with bands like Foxing etc. House Olympics don’t fall short in this regard, and although the EP isn’t as emotionally hard-hitting as it could be its lyrics are still pensive and personal. Third track Everest is a sobering plunge from a peak as the lines ‘I would be willing to be hit by a car just to knock some sense into me / I would be willing to fall off the face of this Earth just to find my way back’ ring out amidst punchy, crashing instrumentals which give way to calming melodies during the EP’s numerous softer moments. The balance between the harsher vocals and instrumentals is excellent, with each varying seamlessly to match the tone and pace, and as a result tracks like Tossing, Turning, Treading shift with ease. The second song begins abrasive and soon drops off to a slow crawl ,only to rush back with chiming guitars as part of a sprawling climax. There’s a great deal of creativity here, and instrumental opener Get #rekt Steve Jobs (make of that title what you will) builds and picks up momentum similar to post-rock artists like This Will Destroy You, starting minimal and finishing massive. It’s a confident way to begin a debut, and things only improve from here. Not a minute of the fifteen that make up the EP is wasted, although at times the production can lessen the impact, especially during the opening minute of Tossing, Turning, Treading, with the mix sounding slightly disjointed and clumsy. Closer Super Smashed Bros doesn’t suffer from the same problem thankfully, and rounds off the EP on a high despite being lyrical down (‘I don’t wanna be on the bathroom floor at three in the morning’). This track also jumps straight in, and has slightly more fire than those that preceded it, as guitars dance and vocals roar from the offset, relenting briefly again midway through. It ends a great EP, and hopefully more of the same follows soon because, tiny criticism aside, …And My Mind Is Restless is a solid debut from a band who sound slightly different but also sound all the better because of it. It’s currently P.W.Y.W on Bandcamp, and well worth your time if you happen to be a fan of the genre or even its heavier cousins. 
Elenora – Luna Amante (Album) Chances are you’ll have heard a record similar to Luna Amante already this year, because their sound is very familiar. You get pristine clean vocals courtesy of Alexander Prescott and harsher uncleans from Victor Prescott, reminiscent of bands like Dance Gavin Dance and 80% of melodic-hardcore bands who don’t pull it off this well. For a debut record Luna Amante is everything it should be – the instrumentals are technical and bring heavier styles on tracks like the brilliant Simone and switch things up on the piano driver Words Unspoken, which is brilliant, carrying a Chiodos vibe as a result of its instrumentals and flawless vocals. I’m Trevor Collins, and These Are My Real Teeth is similar to Chiodos in more than just its name, and the appeal that pours from that band also pours from Elenora in spades, making for a record that constantly impresses and delivers. The electronic Act II: Mememto Mori breaks things up with a strangely fitting electronic interlude before Overneath swings in on melodic guitars and more soaring vocals. It’s nothing particularly new, but it’s done particularly well, especially on Said The Sapling To The Sun, which milks the trademark formula to full effect and nails it, offering up meaty, heavy instrumentals alongside aggressive vocals and a huge, lifting chorus better suited to rising harmonies, and the back and forth the two differing vocalists share is particularly memorable. It’s currently available to buy and stream on Bandcamp, links below. 
Depths – We Love, We Lose, We Break (EP / 7”) Post hardcore tends to go one of two ways, in that it either hits hard or falls flat. So many bands play similar songs with a similar aim to leave a similar mark, and the genre is often criticised for being too narrow-minded in its approach. Thankfully then, Depths do more than enough to stand out and their first 7” record, released through Flood Floorshows, writhes with angry intense emotion from start to finish, similar to bands like Capsize or fellow Belgians Old Ivy. Considering there’s only two tracks on show there’s a great deal offered as each bristles as a result of vocalist Olivier’s enflamed, encompassing delivery and the intricate, occasionally melodic instrumental accompaniment. Guitars pierce through, rising and swelling, whilst clever drums suit both the softer moments and heavier crescendos that make up the dynamic title track. We Love, We Lose, We Break begins delicate before gradually enfolding as powerful, strained vocals enter and the song picks up tenfold, climbing to a roaring peak. Lyrically, there’s a reflective and haunting poetry at play, most noticeably on second track Alone And Broken, which features the lines ‘Our love was in flower as summer grew on, our love like a leaf, and then winter again – gone’. In this regard the songs don’t differ massively from what you’d perhaps expect, but as a listener you ‘feel’ it much more because of how well it’s all expressed. The two songs that make up We Love, We Lose, We Break hit hard as they should, and although they could do more to expand their sound further Depths are a band well worth watching. 
Books On Fate – Myth Of Trust (Single) Myth Of Trust marks Books On Fate’s first release since last years Memory, a record I only found recently and enjoyed immensely. Adam Dishart (formerly of The Catholic Comb)’s deep vocals sit well over an interesting drum beat and synths, both of which pick up during a cruising chorus. Again, it’s another track that’s been out for a while, and as usual I’m way behind in writing about, but there’s something very cool about it. However, it doesn’t bring anything that Memory didn’t, and as a result it is slightly forgettable despite its charm.