Of Allies

Fragments EP

Written by: TL on 01/08/2015 12:54:47

British quartet Of Allies are back with their second EP in as many years, trying to build on the momentum they established with last year's "Tempers" by releasing the follow-up "Fragments". One year being a relatively short span between releases, it is not surprising to find that Of Allies have only refined their style moderately, still playing a hard-edged alt rock that finds itself somewhere between early 00's influences like Hoobastank and Breaking Benjamin, and more contemporary British rock groups like Exit Ten or Mallory Knox.

Opening with its title track, the EP launches right into the type of beefy hard rock riff that is a staple of the band's sound, then settles down for the kind of atmospheric verse that they also typically work with. Compared to the previous EP, the sound is similar, yet feels a little more defined, as if the band has been more careful with making the production sound less amateurish and more ready for prime time exposure. Singer Rich Nichols belts the chorus out with pathos and power, and the guitars churn and pummel on your ears from beneath him, bringing to mind comparisons to Nothing More for instance. The EP's best track is its wisely chosen single "ONE19" which sets itself apart via a faster and more energetic verse than what the band mostly does, and the ringing guitar in the back occasionally brings to mind Young Guns and Alexisonfire, while the gang vocals that back up the chorus makes it sound like something you can imagine shouting along to in the live setting, before getting down to the chunky bridge that follows.

These things considered Of Allies prove that they can live up to a capable standard and should be considered a serious band more so than experimenting amateurs. So far so good. That being said, their attempt to make the 00s alternative hard rock sound seem relevant again is hardly particularly innovative. The atmospheric tremolo that finds its way in here and there is a good but small touch, and while Nichols is to be commended for retaining great diction through his powerful singing performance, his extended chorus melodies continue to sound predictable, and as a result, less catchy and convincing. You get it, but you don't really feel it. Thus the overall impression of the band remains that they sound like solid young professionals, and that their music has the gusto to go over well with less critical fans of the bands that sound similar - Yet they lack some sort of unique or inventive component in their identity before they figure as an exciting prospect for more discerning listeners.


Download: ONE19, Old Bones
For The Fans Of: Hoobastank, Exit Ten, Sent By Ravens
Listen: facebook.com/OfAllies

Release date 11.05.2015

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