Terrible Love are one of those bands you really want to succeed. In their short career, they’ve already weathered a myriad of hardships that would be more than enough for a lesser band to throw in the towel. Nevertheless, the Londoners have clearly channelled their hardships into something potent.
Thus we get ‘Doubt Mines’, five tracks of white-hot soul-searching post-hardcore in the vein of Touché Amoré or Casey. With the focus on guitars that know when to rage right at the front but also fade into a delicate blur, and Jack Saunders’ vocals pushed into harsh, larynx-ripping shrieks, those comparisons aren’t easy to avoid. But even so, Terrible Love feels like anything but a lazy facsimile. Especially when tracks like ‘First Flowers’ and ‘Separate Graves’ have the remarkable detail and craftsmanship that they do.
Even if there isn’t a great deal that’s original about this EP, Terrible Love at least know where their skills lie and play accordingly. The biggest benefit being Saunders as a frontman. There’s already plenty of seasoning in his vocals, able to wrench up impassioned screams, particularly on closer ‘A Better Light’ with its near-perfect balance between burning intensity and deep, insular emotion. It’s encouraging to see a band this young having such a mastery of their craft at this stage. Coupled with melodic instincts that are just as fully-formed, Terrible Love are already on stable footing.
Even so, there admittedly isn’t all that much to say about them; so many bands have co-opted this style over the past few years, and even though there’s that spark to Terrible Love that does nudge them above the rest, they’re not pulling off anything innovative here. But even so, ‘Doubt Mines’ is incredibly strong for an early release, showing a band very much in tune with their own scene, and likely where it’s headed next. Finding their own identity will be the key next step, but if this EP is anything to go from, they’ll have no problems with that.
‘Doubt Mines’ EP by Terrible Love is released on 19th January on Big Scary Monsters / Through Love Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)