Leave With Us

Written by: AP on 21/04/2014 18:15:42

Rather than describe their origins and career hitherto in a comprehensible way, Barnsley/Derby, UK based Servers see themselves more as a "vehicle to carry [the] message" of an "entity known only as Zer◎", which is "driven by a compulsion to delve into the minds of servers and the subservient nature of followers. The trio comprising Lee Storrar on guitar & vocals, Lee Wilde on bass and Ant Nettleship on drums, refer to themselves merely as Server 00001, Server 00002 and Server 00003, dub their songs transmissions, and call their performances Gatherings. It is one of the strangest biographies I've read, but presumably its purpose is to awaken one's curiosity before even casting one's attention over the music, and in this respect, I will readily admit to have fallen victim to their ploy.

In February, the group released their début album "Leave with Us", which was produced by Server 00004 (who I gather is, in reality, Matt Elliss) at Flatwave Studios, and as my warped preamble will have hinted at, it is not an entirely usual piece of music - nor is it, however, a game changer. The closest you'll come to likening the style of this stuff to another band is probably the cult entity earthtone9, but in general, the easiest and most relatable way to pigeon hole it is to call it alternative metal. Indeed, Servers draw equally from grunge, industrial, sludge, stoner and post-metal, inspiring references to acts as diverse as Isis, Monster Magnet and Pitchshifter across the 10 twisted tracks, tied together by an ominously dark tone.

Elliss has ensured the production is up to par with the Servers' own level of ambition, songs like "Save Me from Myself" and the following "Universes & Supernovas (The Ride)" pulsing and reverberating with cavernous might; their respective choruses booming as though the trio were fully prepared already to take on stadium size venues. But despite all manner of orchestral grandeur sampled into the songs, it all seems a little like smoke and mirrors, especially as much of the latter seems to consist exclusively of the refrain "Universes, supernovas, separate us, come between us / Miles and miles, different lifestyles, complicate the life" - and we're talking about a song clocking in at over 6 minutes in its original format (not the radio edit below). The following "Claustrophobia" betters this impression little, enlisting the deceptive power of melodrama in Storrar's musing of "Lie with me, die with me, take me where I wanna go / Lie with me, die with me, take me to where I belong / I see no reason to change.".

So while tracks like "Run with the Foxes" and "Once I Started I Was Never Stopping" are extremely easy on the ear, closer inspection reveals there is, to me, very little actual depth in the music of Servers. By way of riffs, melodies and licks they offer nothing in the field of innovation either, though it must be confessed that especially the energetic drive of "Once I Started..." has an annoying capacity to engage and invigorate me in some basic way, and that you would likely find me headbanging enthusiastically to it if you walked into my room just now. Alternative metal still enjoys a significant market - especially stateside - so the survival of a band like Servers should be guaranteed. But alas, my personal impression of "Leave with Us" is that it's an album mis-marketed as something mysterious, brave and novel, when really it is a simple, radio friendly piece of music veiled in false grandeur.


Download: Save Me From Myself, Run with the Foxes, Once I Started I Was Never Stopping, King Things
For the fans of: Chevelle, earthtone9, Finger Eleven
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.02.2014
Undergroove Records

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