Whether or not you’re aware, there’s a seemingly noticeable resurgence in bands akin to the sound of post-hardcore, screamo, skramz… whatever you decide to call it. 2012 has only further pushed forward acts tapping said sounds to any degree, and UK-based Cavalcades seem intent on proving this is a near-global revival. Though their sound is as steeped in melodic hardcore as it is in the tonal slathering of Suis La Lune, Cavalcades deliver enough passion and impressive musicianship on their Coping EP to make them a band worth keeping an eye on.
In just five songs, Cavalcades make good use of their chops to produce a handful of tracks that seemingly enough don’t bleed into each other without sounding blatantly different. “Frayed” somehow shows pop-rock melodic tendencies and shout-scream vocals while bursting at the seams with double-time drums. Though a bit misguided in the songwriting, the fumbling moments are amply covered by dynamic shifts that do actually work for the better of the song. “Counting Breaths” follows a similar sonic nod, dropping the distortion for wildly strummed cleans and another dose of percussive mayhem. The raw production shines through here, even as the band shifts to downplayed grooves and odd-tempo tantrums of rhythm. Vocally, the band again shows a bit of their youth, not sacrificing confidence or passion for technique, but at the same time not being totally crisp in the delivery. It would also help in “Sleep Debt” if there was some true variety in the lead vocals, though they do inject some backups to help the sometimes jarring juxtaposition of very raspy vocals against pretty bright melodies.
But in the finale “Swallow Water,” Cavalcades practically cement themselves in your mind with bright power-pop guitars slammed into gruff vocals and perfectly paced drums. If anything else, this is the catchiest track of the bunch while also showing a much more mature and effortless shift between the loud and soft sections. The one drawback to this EP is that it is at times a bit too wishy-washy in the presentation of ideas that don’t properly flesh themselves out before shifting to a new one – the closer seems a bit predictable but it legitimately works even as the vocals sound more like a Hot Water Music nod than a The Saddest Landscape one.
For a band I was completely unaware of until maybe a week ago, Cavalcades’ latest is a honest attempt to bring a few different sounds together without watering down the parts of the whole. And for the most part, it really clicks, making Coping a rather successful EP that is both gripping and relatable through all five movements.