Of Mice & Men
The Mo Club, Southampton, UK - 16/4
Written by: TL on 19/09/2012 12:58:44
I will not lie. When Secret And Whisper announced that their stellar vocalist Charles Finn was leaving the band and they were thus calling it quits, there was some screaming and pulling of hair going on in my apartment. S&W were at times head and shoulders above any bands that have competed in the market for metalcore and post-hardcore with high-pitched clean singers, so when Finn left and the remaining members decided to break up the band I did not like it one bit. And when the same instrument handlers decided to stick together in a new band, although a more casual one with the ridiculous name Shreddy Krueger, the only words I had were "guys, you have got to be kidding me?!?!"
But then demos started appearing and they sounded promising, and now Shreddy Krueger have unleashed their debut EP "Curses" upon the world and I am happy - nay - I am relieved to be able to say that after listening to it, the choice of name is just about the only thing I can find to criticise about Shreddy Krueger.
Traces of their old band are still around, as Shreddy Krueger preserve the knack for soaring, blazing, hyper-melodic guitar signatures that characterised bands like Secret And Whisper and Saosin. They are just considerably heavier than either of those, as they place their melodic tendencies next to the listener and then wrap both up in a dark, dark world, where bleak, brutal onslaughts of guitars that sound like Underoath or Bring Me The Horizon's most vicious parts, are coming at you from every direction to rip and claw at your face.
The concept of back and forth between weight and melody isn't new then, but what is refreshing is how unique and confident Shreddy Krueger sound doing both, compared to the countless glossy logo'ed upstart bands out there, that gather fickle fame solely on the back of overproduced vocals and one-note chugging. At the lightest of times, Krueger puts you in a place where you get your head above water, and cry out with the voice of singer Jordan Chase, whose raspy, throaty semi-cleans stretch towards highs that sound like Jared Leto's work on the first 30 Seconds To Mars album. And then just when the otherworldly guitar melodies make it seem like you're seeing stars up close, you'll get pulled back under a deep, dark sea where waves of excellently produced heavy riffage just flat out pounds you, accompanied by a monstrous assortment of harsh vocals as well.
"Curses EP" however is more a sound and a mood than it is a collection of songs, which is mostly because it can be hard to follow what exactly it is Chase is wailing, though when you do, cuts like "The Prophetess". "The Lion And The Pariah" and especially "Marker" should also start to stand out with some individual personality. Still, individually they will likely not be the reasons you put on "Curses" as much as the desire to subject yourself to the intense punishment of the EP in its entirety, because even if it is more a mood-record, it is a very impressive one at that for a debut EP. The sheer quality of both the parts and the production of both instrumentals and vocals is enough to make it so, and Shreddy Krueger deserve all kinds of recognition for making sparks in the otherwise decadent mud pool that is the scene for metalcore and post-hardcore today. The only question is if people will be able to take them seriously considering that God-awful bandname of theirs.
Download: Marker, The Lion And The Pariah, The Prophetess
For The Fans Of: Night Verses, Secret And Whisper, Chiodos' "Illuminaudio", Blessthefall
Release Date 28.08.2012