And Hell Follows

Written by: TL on 04/03/2010 22:33:48

As you might have noticed, I'm trying to put this rare free evening of mine to good use, cutting my retardedly long review list down to size as much as I can, an when serial reviewing like this, I tend to get increasingly more tired, and as I do so, I also get increasingly less in the mood for lengthy introductions. So suffice to say, the next band up is Renae, a four piece from the States who showcase a sort of indie-tinged post-hardcore on their début EP "And Hell Follows". Let's talk about how that works out shall we?

The EP starts out with the song "Conquest", and judging from that, I quickly note that this band sounds somewhat like what As Cities Burn could've sounded like, had they still been around, or like what Brand New could sound like, should they decide to write a hardcore record. Twangy, moody riffs, complimented by bitter cleans alá ACB are interchanged for harsh screams reminiscent of those you might have heard a certain Francis Mark produce in bands such as From Autumn To Ashes and Warship, the latter of which coincidentally also a point of reference for this band's sound I think, albeit a more remote one at that.

That's all good and well, and I'm liking the song, as it's nice and abrasive and especially the aggressive parts get me pumped, but thinking I had the record figured out, I certainly had to guess again, as the music proceeds flowing seamlessly into the following four tracks, "War", "Famine", "Pestilence" and "Death". You shouldn't need help realizing the relation between those titles and the EP title, and it quickly becomes apparent that "And Hell Follows" is a somewhat more ambitious and thought out début than what must post-hardcore upstarts bother to produce these days.

Hence the following four tracks all but abandon the references I already made, in favour of taking us through experimentation with a variety of others, while still retaining a core identity of the sound (kudos!). "War"'s battering heavy parts are almost The Chariot-esque, while it's more atmospheric ones borrows a few tricks from the likes of The Mars Volta and In:Aviate (only ever so slight though). "Famine" erupts in The Fall Of Troy-ish guitar spasms, while its vocals again hint of Warship and I Am Alaska even make an appearance in my mental gallery of similarities. "Pestilence" opens with more dark field trips into twisted Mars Volta territory, providing a sort of beweirding interlude before the final track comes around. The final track as in "Death", which tries yet another style on for size, as the fast beat and mainly clean vocals here sound like a dead ringer for Boys Night Out (on "Trainwreck").

If such a roller-coaster ride of stylistic experimentation sounds like a headache waiting to happen to you, then you are indeed right, but what's important to notice before you're too discouraged from giving this a chance, is that already on this début, Renae manage to string not only five songs together seamlessly, but they also try a lot of different elements out, without ever ending up with a sound that's too fragmented for you to recognize their band's identity. That my friends, is ambition and realisation of ambition for you, and while I think it is still possible for Renae to integrate the many ideas into one another, in a manner that compliments the end product better - and for them to attain some production that affords the music more of the punch it is so clearly meant to have - this band has potential written all over it. I think these song-smiths need but a little time to hone their steel, and then they'll be at our throats out of nowhere. You have been warned.

Download: Conquest, War, Death
For The Fans Of: As Cities Burn, Warship, Thrice, I Am Alaska

Release Date 07.12.2009
Hotfoot Records

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