Soundtrack To Sleep

East Coast Anxiety EP

Written by: PP on 30/12/2015 16:42:12

Like diamonds in the rough. That's how "East Coast Anxiety" EP, the debut release by Soundtrack To Sleep from Northern Virginia comes across. It contains four tracks' worth emotionally torn, punk-fueled post-hardcore/emo tunes that give bands like Have Mercy and Balance & Composure a run for their money when it comes to grungy, impassioned melodies that float endlessly in magical quiet/loud moments that give you back chills in the process. The only drawback? The production is so lo-fi and coarse that it leaves Soundtrack To Sleep sounding untight and sloppy when they should be delivering a Title Fight-esque moment of unforgettable scream vs. guitar reverb, where all elements mix together almost perfectly.

However, where band lack in a production budget, they more than make up for with sheer urgency and immediacy in their expression. Take the title track, for instance, where it feels like you can almost touch the passion of their vocalist given how convincingly and impassionately he screams the emotionally-charged lyrics at you. His throat must be like sandpaper every night after he performs this track live. It's otherwise a classic quiet/loud track with tranquil moments exploding into emotional climaxes of post-hardcore at its very best, echoing the urgency of Polar Bear Club's debut album or the heartfelt screams of Have Mercy on their debut album.

"Riverrun" is another gem in the same sense, featuring exactly the kind of roared screams that gave Have Mercy their breakthrough a couple of years ago. Elsewhere, the band source from the lo-fi basement punk of Gnarwolves. "Green Mountains" being the prime example. Still emotional and scream-laden, the aggressive guitar shredding and d-beat drums suggest punk rock as opposed to post-hardcore, even if the song ends in further mellow, experimental soundscape exploration like Title Fight like to do on their key tracks.

As you can see, the band is all over the map stylistically. A little bit of punk rock, a strong leaning on emotional post-hardcore and a healthy dose of experimentation in the midst of an emo expression will carry you far in terms of variety and intriguing soundscapes. Lyrically, too,m the band are introspective and clever, as evident on "All We Do Is Talk": "Is happiness really this hard? 'Cause I've been chasing it around before it gets too fucking far for me to catch."

So yeah, while the production is what it is, the songs underneath are nothing short of brilliant. One of the bands to watch in 2016.

8

Download: Riverrun, All We Do Is Talk, East Coast Anxiety
For the fans of: Gnarwolves, Have Mercy, Title Fight, Balance & Composure, Polar Bear Club
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.04.2015
Self-Released

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