1. My Friend The Arsonist- Skinned Alive, 2. My Friend The Arsonist- I Survived The Mutiny
3. Disguise Your Beauty- Stomach Acho, 4. Disguise Your Beauty – Minus One
Produced & mixed by Blair Hutcheson @ Casa Del Sol Studios
My Friend The Arsonist are:
Calum Macfie – Vocals, Ben Hutchinson – Guitar, Gregor Duncan – Guitar, Pete Hutchinson -Bass, Blair Hutcheson- Drums, Duncan McBride -Synths
Disguise Your Beauty are:
Scott McCaughey – Vocals, Ryan Mcgonigle – Guitar/Backing Vocals, Blair Proctor- Guitar, Graeme Wright – Drums, Scott Forwell – Bass
Split EPs are still cool man. Although as I think so, that probably makes terminally uncool, but really they are. Like minded bands joining forces to create music and release it together is a wonderful reminder of the great aspect of ‘music scenes’ and artistic support. The fact that bands of relative youth are embracing this some what ‘old school’ approach would be heart warming if mine wasn’t so cold and cynical. I can’t say this EP brought said heart back to life, but it gives you plenty to throw your fists about too.
The first half of the EP is taken up by My Friend The Arsonist. The band take a more or less straight up metalcore approach but with the addition of pleasantly subtle synths. Opener ‘Skinned Alive’ comes across as perfect pit fodder with its muscular break downs and mid-tempo stomp. The vocals are impressively ferocious and carry enough variety to give the song a real sense of authenticity setting the band apart from the usual ‘tough guy’ posturing that consumes so many young hardcore bands these days. It’s probably not going to stick in your head for days, but live it certainly carries the necessary energy to entice the pit goers. Second track ‘I Survived the Mutiny’ explores the bands melodic tendencies and electronic influences more. It certainly makes the track more interesting, but the structure of the song doesn’t flow as well as ‘Skinned Alive’. The competent clean vocals give the band a certain amount of edge over many of their peers, in particular when coupled with the electronics. It’s a strength the band could really use to their advantage in future as those catchier moments only serve to enhance the impact of their muscular break downs.
Disguise Your Beauty take a more aggressive approach for their half of the EP. The vocal have a pleasingly old school edge, being more hardcore bellow than metal scream, and are delivered with a credible sense of conviction. The effective use of gang shouts is also welcome. Their first track, ‘Stomach Acho’, climaxes in a crunching break down that proves to be more satisfying than expected, though hardly ground breaking. Not that being ground breaking is any way a necessary of sufficient condition for being good. After the unnecessary into their second track breaks into a pleasing mid tempo bounce before breaking into the by now obligatory break down. The sense that their tracks are simply excuses to get to break downs are off set somewhat, though not entirely, by the quality of the break downs upon their arrival. Part of this quality is due to the rawer production they adopted when compared To My Friend The Arsonists more polished approach. which is not to criticize the more polished approach, as that suits the other band better, its more a comment on realisation that certain vibes suit certain sounds.
Over all for the princely sum of £2 this is a quality purchase for fans of the modern Glasgow hardcore scene. More metal leaning fans may not find as much to latch onto here, and those who aren’t fans of similar bands aren’t going to be suddenly converted but, for those who enjoy a well executed break down and angry young men shouting you could do a hell of a lot worse.
Click here to go to the Thanks For Nothing Records to purchase the EP.