Essex’s finest hardcore punk band have put together a killer little record in ‘Break The Cycle,’ where we get thirteen refreshingly energetic tracks with a contemporary twist.
‘Underachievers’ proves a rousing opener with an old school guttural vocal and epic feel to the guitar lines, offset by a post-hardcore melody to the chorus. Throughout the record the angry hardcore scream is regularly balanced by other vocal styles, the punky chorus to the frantic ‘I’m Not Around’ immediately offering up a good example, whilst also showcasing their talent for a complex arrangement.
The twists and turns in their time changes and riff structures certainly keep things interesting, ‘Our Own Enemy’ being a great song; it’s really well constructed with a killer hook. The more metallic ‘Did It Mean So Much To You’ is similarly contagious and also rocks some cool tempo changes.
Things do get a little formulaic in the middle, as songs like ‘Break The Cycle’, ‘Another Day Another Year’ and ‘It’s Not All Bad News’ follow a similar pattern of switch ups, yet every track has its own saving grace and all are individually enjoyable. Even the more straightforward tracks like ‘Resignation’ or ‘Misguided’ manage to please, whether it’s down to a smoking guitar break or an urgent chorus.
It is the two closing tracks that really steal the show however. The angst ridden ’Evergreen’ is a great song that benefits from a drop in tempo and an emphasis on layered guitars and soaring melodies in the chorus. Meanwhile, album closer ‘I’ve Been Low’ boasts another cool backing vocal cool and a metal grooved finale; killer track.
It’s refreshing to see a band take some traditional styles and make a well-trodden path sound fresh and current – good work boys!
‘Break the Cycle’ by Giants is released on April 1st on Holy Roar Records.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)