Of Allies marches into the UK alt-rock scene hanging onto the coat-tails of British break-out bands like I Divide and Blitz Kids. Where these bands favour catchy hooks and huge rock anthems, Of Allies trades in the catchiness for fiercer melodies and lyricism that delves into the darker side of our humanity. Their debut EP Tempers is forever straddling the gap between a melodic sound, to one that is downright angry and aggressive.
The EP is kicked off by the moody “Ghosts”. The starting track shifts between brooding twangy guitar riffs and low-key repetitive snares upon the main verses. This moves onto blistering guitar riffs with crashing drums in the chorus. These instrumentals show off the band’s talent for creating songs that feature numerous layers of sound. The vocals reflect the moody nature of the song as they shift from a restrained crooning on the main verses to a melodic in-your-face style in the chorus as the lyrics deal with the concept of history and secrets.
Of Allies temper their moodiness with a dash of aggression on “Our Decay”. The track greets you with whining guitar riffs underlain by a brooding, throbbing bass line which is supported by the muffled drum beats in the background. The aggression is unleashed on the chorus with hard-hitting guitar riffs that would make well-established alt-rock bands jealous, while the vocals are laced with a piercing Chevelle-esque aggression. The band delivers fairly intellectual poignant lyrics that will leave you reeling and possibly rethinking the meaning of life such as “apparitions will find afflictions in the systems of life”.
The band’s aggression is fully unleashed through the track “In Screens”, with hard-hitting and riff heavy breakdowns at nearly every turn. The bass line underlying this song is practically the musical equivalent of a snarling beast and gives the song a dirty sense of aggression. The band delivers a blistering account of how we’re too wrapped up in our own lives and can’t see the bigger picture.
The mood gets dampened in “In Stasis”. The name of the song is quite fitting since to be put into stasis means to slow down or stop, which is precisely what is done in this particular track. Of Allies trades the fierce guitar riffs for more delicate and melodic riffs which accompany the soaring vocals.
The EP’s swan song is the anthemic and brooding “Play Dead”. If you ever need a song to explain what progression within a song is, this would be a perfect example. It begins slowly with a muffled, chugging guitar riff, accompanied by the increasing tempo of drums. As soon as the chorus kicks in, the breakdown occurs, and from then on the energy and ferocity of the song is astounding. The guitar riffs snarl and weave around the vocals while the drums pound away in the background.
Of Allies has produced an EP through Tempers that draws influences from the growing UK rock scene. It blends the thunderous nature of typical alt-rock songs with the brooding aggression that is quite typically present on post-hardcore or alternative metal songs. Essentially, they deliver their own unique blend of alt-rock to a rapidly growing scene.