Stand Alone – EP Review

Stand Alone

Stand Alone are as about as straight talking as they come. There’s no ridiculous pretence, it’s just a pure onslaught from the band. The five piece hardcore outfit have been busy working on their debut EP, and it’s a rapid bundle of precision.

Fast paced ricochet of drums blasts from the start of “Short Sighted”, the EP’s opening track. For a split second the tone of the guitars reminded me of early Machine Head but this is quickly replaced with a slightly brighter sound. The energetic harsh vocals are relentless, and quite how lead vocalist Steve Kerr maintains that level of intensity without collapsing into a heap is beyond me. Good man!

“Hapless Consequence” continues the pace like a run-away freight train that not even Denzel Washington can stop, and there’s been absolutely no time between “Short Sighted” and this track to catch your breath. “No Resurrections” has some terrific lead lines by Iain Stalker and Alex Jimenez on guitars, with the vocals from Kerr and Joe Blackford combining with ease.

“Strike an Old Pose” initially lightens the guitar work, but returns quickly to the savage intensity that we’re growing accustomed to from Stand Alone. The vocals have a slightly different tone to them too, and although the differences in approach on this song are subtle, the difference is apparent. I would have liked to have seen the writing and recording process to see why this one is a bit more enigmatic.

“A Thousand Fathers” is perhaps the only time I would have liked to have seen Kerr ease up on the vocals. The intro guitar work is thoughtful, ringing out and given space to breathe. “Lumberjacked” sees my wish of having Kerr give himself a gentle “in” at the start fulfilled. It’s nicely done, instead of opting to hit everything with a ten tonne vocal sledgehammer straight from the outset, with the end result being that the song is far more purposeful when building to the chorus.

It’s a terrific debut from the Londoners, they’ve set out their stall, and can’t wait to see them build upon this.

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