Friday, 13 August 2010

Hold Your Horse Is - Rammin' It Home (Big Scary Monsters)

It doesn’t take long into Hold Your Horse Is’ new EP ‘Rammin’ It Home’ to get an idea of what this band are all about: This post-hardcore group from Frimley and Fleet are aggressive, fast paced and very heavy. Switching tempos and time signatures to keep you guessing where they might go next, they are riff heavy right from the start. Robin Pearson’s vocals sound very similar to a Million Dead era Frank Turner, flitting between singing, speaking and screaming which adds to the unpredictability of where they might be heading at any moment. Songs like ‘Non-Stop Physical Training Track’ and ‘Welcome to Obscurity’ pound your eardrums into submission; the only rest for them are a couple of cleverly crafted interludes, most notably the vocal/ acoustic guitar ditty before ‘Starts And Ends.’ The whole package is well thought out and very well executed. 

However it has to be said that what HYHI are doing is far from original: Like many other bands around at the moment they sound like they are desperately trying to be the next At The Drive-In or Yourcodenameis:milo. This could be perceived as a negative point, but I do think the music industry is missing bands like these, and a suitable replacement/ stand in for them would be very welcome. It would be very easy for HYHI to get lost amongst all these other bands, but they have one thing that makes them stand out from the rest: The energy and aggression that comes across in these recordings is something none of the other ‘wannabes’ I’ve heard have managed. It doesn’t sound like energy created by over production, listening to this EP feels like they are playing live in your room, like they are shouting every lyric and playing every riff right in your face. 

My only criticism about this EP is that some of the songs sound extremely similar (there was one moment where I skipped back from track three to the beginning of the EP again just to check there wasn’t a printing error on the CD). The riffs do get repetitious from time to time, and occasionally they feel a little dragged out. But this is only a small gripe; ‘Rammin’ It Home’ is an EP that’s well worth a listen. It might not completely fill the void left by the likes of At The Drive-In, but in my opinion it’s the closest anyone has got so far. 8/10

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