“Listen to us if you like screwing your face up into a ball when you hear a breakdown”, is a rather apt self-description, with their debut EP The Hunter, The Gatherer fitting right into that description alongside the likes of Bury Tomorrow and letlive. Self-released on October 20th, this four track offering is a force to be reckoned with, and Essex’s post-hardcore quintet are aiming high with hopes of its success.
The band formed back in 2011, and over the years have collected praise from Essex’s BBC Introducing, who showcased two of their debut singles. Having played some mean shows alongside impressive names, this is only the beginning for Arizona; “the next year is hopefully going to be a busy one for us”, explains frontman Jacob. “We are well into writing our full length debut, and I don’t think we will stop until that has been torn apart and meticulously analysed from every angle.”
The record is decisively bold from the off, with opening track Black Hart (which you can check the music video out for below) setting off in an almost random frenzy of sound. Jacob Scroggs-Parris’s vocal are unmissable; unavoidably confident, harsh and striking, they fight for power against the tight instrumental, a struggle that leads the track and bursts open the EP. An electronic hint to the music adds a lighter touch to the backing, but it’s still hard not to be struck by the sheer force of the combined piece.
There’s an undeniable hint of Bring Me The Horizon’s House of Wolves slipping into second track, The Hunted. The tighter opening leads into similar vocal patterns that although at times become masked by the music, hold distinct similarities. Everchanging, the vocals become a flurry of layers, forging a chaotic, surround-sound effect whilst maintaining a grasp of the central sound.
In a response to this track, penultimate The Gathering takes its turn to boast the most musically focussed off the EP; riff heavy, there’s a powered determination-meets-desperation in the vocal work. Closing Preacher rounds off the release with a more intense, slower and darker welcome, which rapidly expands into a tighter, faster track. This finale seems to be the cleanest and most confident off the EP, and it’s not hard to see why this makes it as my personal favourite.
It’s a record of sharp edges and bold statements; definitely one to check out if you’re into your music loud, harsh and heavy.