Sound — 5
"March for the Sun" is the latest EP from Yorkshire based Amongst Thieves, and it really packs a punch to make you sit up and listen. Impressively this is the second EP from a band that was only established in 2013, with an album on the horizon, big things are expected from this post-hardcore quintet.
The EP is brimming with high tempo riffs and massive drum beats, creating a high level of energy and excitement throughout. The second track, "101," is a great example of this; it kicks in with the whole band creating an edgy and aggressive riff in the first bars before setting up the energetic verse. These features appear frequently throughout the EP and create a platform for Josh to display his talent for creating memorable melodies to shine through. These catchy vocal melodies are common theme, and is best displayed in the opening track, "Alone." This track shows the band has capabilities to perform a variety of styles, as the chorus features some anthemic rock elements, with the call and response between backing gang vocals and the lead vocal melody.
Lyrics — 7
Unfortunately, these memorable melodies are often accompanied by a screaming vocal track. Although this is common in post-hardcore, screaming is definitely not Josh's best skill. The screams are quite thin and weak meaning that the delivery lacks power and fails to grab the listener or fill out the track. The result is that whenever they feature, it is pushed either way above the mix so they can be heard or, when they're sat in the mix, they are lost within the band. This is especially noticeable in "Stay Close," when along side the powerful clean vocals, they are almost non-existent.
The EP's title and closing track, "March for the Sun" is arguably the best on there, displaying some really accomplished song writing. The overall sound and some of the textures created are extremely well constructed, drawing in the listener in to the verse with a really edgy riff. The vocals in this section really compliment the music too, and this is followed through in the chorus. The song progresses well, slightly altering and opening out the textures of the second verse and chorus. It continues to pick up the pace with some of the best riffs on the album, constructing a fantastic groove, displaying another gun in this young band's arsenal. These riffs are short lived however, and leave you wanting more.
Overall Impression — 6
Overall, "March for the Sun" is a good, solid second EP from this exciting quintet. It is exciting and energetic from the word go, and the melodies are catchy, singable and expertly crafted. However, the EP lacks clear direction, there are definitely some post-hardcore elements to it, but it lacks the rise and fall that is synonymous with the genre. The band are showing great potential and the title track is there as proof of the progress made since the first EP. They're definitely one to watch for the future, and I'll be looking out for their debut album.