Violet

The Brightside EP

Written by: TL on 06/10/2011 01:15:50

There's no doubt that the best way to make a mark as a band, no matter if you're brand new or solidly established, is to put out some flat out good songs. On rare occasions however, whether a band manages this or not is almost besides the point, because their sound is just so special that it'll prompt you to listen to it over and over, despite the fact that you'll be hard pressed to really sing along to all that many parts. That is for me the case in a nutshell with UK-based septet (a seven-piece, in case you didn't know), whose latest EP "The Brightside" was recently introduced to me. Since then, I've been spinning it quite often for one rather simple reason: It reminds me of "Translating The Name"-era Saosin.

Making that reference probably makes anything else I have to say about the EP irrelevant, but for the sake of the review not looking unusually short, I'll try to get more specific anyway. Violet deal in a delightfully mellow and soulful style of post-hardcore, in the sense that their melody-smiths - two guitarists and a key/synth-player - aren't constantly trying to write either blazing or facemelting riffage. They leave that to the tech/metalcore bands, one of which they certainly are not. Instead they create excellently balanced soundscapes, using a mix of simplistic post-hardcore riffage, post-rock pedals and careful, occasional application of dramatic synths.

On top of that you have a clean singer who has that very highly sought after type of raspy, high-pitched croon that gets people making comparisons to Anthony Green and Jonny Craig. Add him to the musical landscape I just described and you get songs that have some serious "Lost Symphonies" or "3rd Measurement In C" -vibes. One thing that makes Violet stand apart however, not just from Saosin, but also from other bands in the genre, is the screams. The harsh vocals that complement the cleans on "Brightside EP" are noticeably more raw than what we're used to in this genre, and sound like they'd be more in place on records by La Dispute or Touché Amore. It takes some getting used to, hearing them in this setting, but personally I've come to appreciate how they sound more humane than the often monstrous growls employed by more metallic bands.

Getting critical, you could argue that Violet's songs aren't really instant smash hits at this point, nor is their production really any better than decent. That very production however, plays a huge part in allowing the band to invoke exactly that similar feeling to the somewhat coincidental brilliance of "Translating The Name EP", and effectively renders any complaints about the songwriting department somewhat moot if you ask me. Then again, I have admittedly surrendered unconditionally to this EP, very much due to it giving me hope that the world might see more music similar to the kind I hold as some of the very best I've heard in my years as an emo/post-hardcore fan. We can argue about what that means for my review in the comments if you wish, all I want is for you to heed this: "The Brightside EP" has got an unusual sound that I think you must at least give a chance. Do that and you can disagree with me as violently as you want.

8

Download: Seven For A Secret, The Brightside, ...But You Have Heard Of Me
For The Fans Of: early Saosin, Dance Gavin Dance, Emarosa, Oh Clemency, Common Crooks (formerly known as In Oceans)
Listen: facebook.com/violetmusic

Release Date Fall 2011
Self-released

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