Voices, a relatively new outfit from Birmingham, Alabama, are taking charge of their local scene with their spin on melodic hardcore. These guys are bustling to get their shot, and this EP entitled Anchors is their battle cry to enter that world.
The EP is relatively short, only spanning about ten minutes with three songs. It definitely shows their age, because the melodies are tight and not reminiscent of a band whose old age is wearing them down. This is both a good and bad quality.
Opening track “Anchors” immediately runs a train on your ears. The vocals remind me of a hybrid between Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada and Alex Good of Texas In July. They have a raw, throaty feel to them. There is a lot of ambient string-plucking mixed with chugs throughout the song. Thankfully, it’s not all chugs. The clean vocals that accompany the combo near the end really bring a tasteful purity to the track.
Second track “Ambiguity” is the EP’s bread and butter, without a doubt. With an intro that will feel right at home with Four Year Strong/Close Your Eyes fans, that punk vibe shines right through. This song is what I call a “jumper,” because it really promotes jumping up and down. The clean vocals once again make this song strong, as does the verse that immediately follows the chorus. It has a good head-bob feel, and I think this is the song that best showcases their abilities. The melody throughout the entire thing is well constructed, as are the vocal structures.
Lastly, “Release” closes the chaos by swinging for the fences. If you were expecting a slow track to blissfully drift things into silence, think again. It’s as melodic and punk as the earlier two. The lyrics reflect a positive attitude, referring to the “Show me what it means to be broken!” yell right before a breakdown. The only downfall of this one is that it kind of runs together because there aren’t any clean vocals to bring in some relief.
This young group of hardcore kids has a ways to go before they’ll start to make rifts in the already overcrowded melodic hardcore scene, but based off of certain parts of this EP I’m confident they’ll make it there in due time. Bring in some variety next time around, and their next release will have real potential.