The day before yesterday saw the release of Essex based Forever After’s new EP, Just Another Year, and its crafting has seen help from Grant Berry and Sam Thompson of Me vs Hero. The quartet have drawn on an extensive variety of influences for this release, with the offering paying a musical nod to the range of blues and folk through pop-punk to metal and grunge that all contribute inspiration to its creation. The lead single of the EP, Inhaling, Failing, can be listened to below.
The opening track (below) sets off to a pretty sombre start, with dark, heavy, grunge riffs only being lightened by the higher and melodic vocals. The backing remains strong throughout the track, though, with lines such as “I bite my nails just to watch them bleed”, not improving the mood of the piece. The passion packed into the vocals is impressive though, and it highlights that you don’t have to be overpoweringly ferocious to show meaning in music.
Second track, Miles Away, brings up the pace a bit, with another riff heavy opening with a livelier slant on it. Once the vocals kick in, though it’s clear the influences are heavier, with the vocals holding a rougher edge and the riffs rapidly becoming shorter and sharper. The melodic chorus is bound to have live audiences chanting along, and the abrupt close at under two and a half minutes only adds to the pacy impact of the piece.
A similar riff style opening welcomes third track, She’s Leaving, but the soaring vocals change the mood completely. The mix between clear melodic and harsher, muffled vocals is striking, almost creating two sides to the track that display a new set of influences. Underlying percussion drives the track towards another fast close, before being the driving force to open penultimate Throw It All Away. The lyricism seems to fail the music in the opening, and although it feels like the band were searching too hard for a rhyme, the post-hardcore sound with almost concealed folk undertones creates a new and enthralling sound. The band fall into the post-hardcore trap of using a cliched breakdown, but the downright simplicity of the single riffs makes it irresistible still.
The closing track, Twenty Two, is clearly the most pop-punk of them all, with Blink-esque hook, “it’s so easy to fall for you at twenty two”, guaranteed to give a live crowd something to sing about, and the gradual build up towards the spectacular, empowering close will give them something to dance about.
The mixed influences are prominent throughout, so it’s to their credit that the release doesn’t dissolve into a pop-punk shambles. They’ve kept it tight, though, and the explosive riffs and vocals boasting alarming dexterity makes this release hard not to fall for.