originally posted on Wednesday, 27 November 2013
When I got more in to newer rock music, I went through a period where I listened to a lot of post-grunge alternative metal bands; the bands like Puddle of Mudd or Seether or Chevelle. While I still very much enjoy bands like this, I found that they lacked something that kept them from being great. I’m not going to say that these bands sound the same from one another. While some do, not all do. They just seem a bit too comfortable in a small bubble of song writing style and are too afraid to experiment.
Similarly categorized bands like Three Days Grace address problems like this, if only slightly, but albeit effectively. And then there is Alter Bridge, who, while are in the category, never seemed to have a problem with writing music more superior to what they last wrote.
It should be pointed out, and I’ve mentioned this in past articles, but I am not the biggest fan of categorizing the crap out of bands. Nowadays a band can’t just be a “rock” band, or a “metal” band. Unfortunately, sometimes to get my point across, I have to do this. Especially with bands like the one of the topic of this article, Peur (French for “Fear,”) in order to give readers who have never listened to the band and idea of what they sound like.
That being said, the previously mentioned Peur are doing things right on their EP We Can Build Astronauts. In fact, I’m not convinced I should categorize them in a genre like “post-grunge alternative metal,” because the band has such an original sound, but I don’t feel I have the authority to create a brand new sub-genre just for them.
The EP’s first track, Lights, starts things off on the right note. Some electronic sounding effects leading in to blasting guitars that calm down into a heavy bass sound driven rhythm of Ryan Greenhalgh glued together with a more than noticeable drum beat by drummer Sam Tempest. Joe Lomax’s vocals make an immediate impact on the song with his resilient, yet serious sounding voice that, while it is a voice to be taken seriously, it doesn’t sound like he’s trying to scare listeners. This sound continues in the slightly slower paced Anarchy.
It is the track Pursued By Bears that changes things up with its progressive hard hitting beat and simple, yet effectively harmonized vocals. There is almost a punk/indie influence to the song, but not enough to take away its alternative rock credibility. I also enjoy the simplicity behind Joe’s played guitar solo. Empires brings back the hard-thumping nature of the EP’s first two tracks, but adds a bit of a Muse influence in its production. The sound of keyboards and guitar effects make this a very standout track on the EP.
The last track of the EP, Grey Blood takes the EP for a complete turn that I love. The song starts off with a blues-rock riff that I would have never expected the band to be capable of, furthering my, and surely anyone else’s opinion of the bands capabilities. Even after the song picks up about a minute in, it doesn’t lose the blues kick that it started out with.
I enjoy EPs like this; EPs by a band that is just starting out and has a lot of ideas of how they want to write music. The end result always involves a series of songs that sound nothing like each other. This proves that had the EP been a full album, it would have been a rare full album of all songs that sound different from one another, making for a full album that never loses its listeners attention. As mentioned, I may categorize the band as an “alternative metal” band, but that is simply because they are so different from other bands that such a genre is the closest relatable genre I can think of. This is one of the most effective EPs I have heard in a long time that shows true potential by the band that released it.
“Anarchy” – With an EP as diverse as this, picking a highlight is difficult. My highlights for albums are typically the track that I find sums up the album, one that has many of the features heard on the album all in one, but this album doesn’t really have one. I will admit to picking Anarchy for the sole purpose that there is a music video for it because, frankly, any of the five songs on the EP could be a highlight.
8.5 (Out of 10)
|“Pursued By Bears”||3:07|