Rugby, a town famous for its school and a certain sport you may be familiar with. And now it’ll also be known for hardcore mob, wars (never with a capital w), who have released a full length killer.
wars are known as post-hardcore (what does that even mean?), but could easily be straight up hardcore, metallic hardcore, metalcore, noisecore or one of a million other genres. Pigeon-holing doesn’t matter when the music is as god as this though.
Opening track The Art of Not Knowing sounds distant at first and fades up and gains clarity in the same manner a house tune might. Peculiar. But what happens next is amazing. They unleash a mid-90s Faith No More-style riff on our asses. And if you like melodic bits interspersed with bouncy, screamalong parts laced with chugging riffage than you’ve come to the right place.
The opener is wars in a nutshell and it continues in a similar vain throughout the album. The old adage about things not being broken and whether or not they need to be fixed could easily apply here.
Snows and Skies and the single, That By Discord Things Increase, continue to effortlessly make a cocktail of melody and brutality. The latter seems to have a few vocal Linkin Park-isms chucked into the mix for good measure and why not? It works.
Still Waters Run Deep sees the finely-tuned machine march forwards. Sciamachy Scenes sounds like acttion music and it wouldn’t be out of place on a film soundtrack for something starring Vin Diesel. That’s a compliment to the band, but not necessarily to the cinematic output of Mr Diesel.
Salt Flat Sailing starts out angry and is underpinned by a riff that a few metal bands might covet. This is the highlight of We Are Islands, After All for me. It’s like a four minute breakdown and if it doesn’t make you mosh then I’m sorry, but you might be dead.
And then it’s on to Hailing Distance which is a more melodic offering, although the groove-vibe of the guitars for large parts of it will have you nodding with approval. There’s still plenty of shouting too for the purists.
Charcoal Days brings it all to a close. It’s a ballad, like a post-hardcore One, only not as good. It’s a real shame to end an album with its lowlight, but there we have it…hang on, the last track is 13 minutes long, but the song only lasts for three of them. At 10 minutes there’s another song – the oft-maligned hidden track – and it’s just one simple heavy riff with a spoken narrative. This is a more fitting end to the album. Well played, wars.
Reader album rating:
WE ARE ISLANDS, AFTER ALL ALBUM INFO
- The Art of Not Knowing
- Snows and Skies
- That By Discord Things Increase
- Still Waters Run Deep
- Sciamachy Scenes
- Hills and Boulders
- Salt Flat Sailing
- Hailing Distance
- Charcoal Days
27th January 2017