Despite what their name may suggest, this rowdy Midlands quintet are anything but hidden. Between the ground-shaking riffs and boisterous vocals, the band have created a tight EP that draws on all their influences whilst keeping a tight sound. Dominic Webber, frontman of the band states, “it feels as though we have drawn a line under our previous releases, as if they were merely us warming up: now we have refined our sound to reach this point,” – a bold but accurate statement.
The EP sets off to a surround-sound, echoy start with an instrumental to make your hair stand on end, before the vocals of Maybe You’ll Drown ebb their way in in an almost ghostly manner. A violent outburst of sound does its part to truly begin the album, and as the track moves through its various levels, you can almost pick apart the mix of influences in the layers of sound.
Guts doesn’t hold the same mercifully slow opening, choosing instead to throw you in at the deep end among ferocious choppy percussion, all but drowning out the commanding vocals. The band state that this is a release created to be listened to in full, as opposed to live, and through the more personal lyrics (“I’m not ashamed of what’s inside of me”) a sense of privacy and intimacy is created. The continuation between the tracks is another feature which keeps up the studio side of the track, with Barfly boasting an equally restless instrumental (with hints of Michael Jackson’s Beat It seeping through).
The Whole World Is Ending In My Head returns to the more subtle musical backdrop, which brilliantly allows the vocals to take center stage, highlighting touching lines such as “I couldn’t see my future in her stars”. The final third of the track unleashes what must be pent-up power, moulding a finale to the track which the title line commandeers through chaos, before the album winds up with four and a half minute Long Winters. The more deadpan vocals make a sharp contrast with the melodic chorus, which boasts a certain degree of swagger with striking “scream for me”.
It’s only fair to sum this album up with the genre “alt rock” – harsh vocals aren’t made to blend quite so well with these pop-punk undertones, yet here, it works. At first glance this EP is fun and alive, and upon closer inspection, it’s simply excellent.