Album Review: Of Allies – Fragments EP

‘Fragments’ is a strong second release from Of Allies, a Hull based four-piece, formed from the remnants of Lavellion and In:audium. This five track EP showcases a strong professional sound, no doubt honed by heavy rotation on the live circuit and sleepless nights in the rehearsal room, and it’s a work ethic that’s paying off. There is something fresh and exciting about this band; they have the confidence that comes with talent and the kind of material that would work equally well in clubs or stadia.

The title track is driven along by layers of pounding guitars and rolling drums that invite rather than incite, being just melodic enough to guarantee air play but heavy enough to get the faithful heaving. There’s a slight sense of having heard it somewhere before and comparisons to Young Guns or You and Me at Six are inevitable, but there’s a darker intensity to Of Allies that draws you in.

The focus is cranked up a notch on ‘One19’ with some serious power riffing and some great instrumental interplay, but there’s a catchier hook that’s sure to make it a live favourite. Next up is the intriguing ‘Old Bones’, which shifts effortlessly between light and dark, heavy and melodic; showing a welcome complexity to the composition. Things don’t let up for the most aggressive sounding track, ‘Tempers’, which pulls no punches but is probably the most forgettable of the songs on display here.

On the closing track, ‘Call it Home’, they once again show some restraint; reining in the riffing in favour of melody, before building to a hard rocking crescendo. There is an epic feel to the song with its rousing chorus and stirring guitar lines, so it ends disappointingly soon; it’s the kind of track that could easily be stretched out for 7 or 8 minutes to close a live show. It perfectly encapsulates the dynamism of the band, showing off their “signature sound” but also displaying their metal influences with a strong nod to something more radio friendly. It’s a strong indication of more to come.

Even so, overall this is a sturdy offering of high quality unpretentious alternative rock that deserves a chance. There is plenty on offer to show Of Allies as an intense and talented band with some memorable well-crafted songs and the potential to be something really special.

4/5

‘Fragments’ EP by Of Allies is out now.

Of Allies links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)

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