Drown This City – Alpha // Survivor (EP Review)
Drown This City – Alpha // Survivor EP
Released: July 5th, 2019
Alex Reade // Vocals
Matthew Bean // Vocals/Bass
Josh Renjen // Guitar
Laurence Appleby // Guitar
Anthony Pallas // Drums
Melbourne’s Drown This City haven’t had the easiest of runs since we first met them and their blistering performance at Big Sound 2017 (our coverage here), they underwent some lineup changes which stop and stalled their progression. However a couple of weeks back, they reemerged with the huge news that they’d been signed to UNFD (finally) and they were releasing a new EP called Alpha // Survivor which (I’ll admit) blew my fucking head off the minute I finally got the chance to give it a spin yesterday morning, so much so I HAD to share my thoughts with you all about it.
‘Don’t Forget To‘ draws the listener in with a faint, distant sound that slowly brings us up to the EP’s face punching first track ‘Stay Broken‘ which MUST be listened to in sequence in order to get the full effect of what’s being thrown at you. Djenty riffs. Sexy drum kicks and frontwoman Alex Reade‘s alluring clean vocals combined with bassist Matthew Bean‘s growls really set this song up from the rest that they’ve released in the past. It’s almost as if Drown This City have taken everything from the past, scrunched it up into a ball and kicked it off a cliff. This new era of the band is what we’ve been waiting to hear from them and this is just the first song on the EP.
It’s followed up by the first single ‘In Your Image‘ which, as you should already know, had this proggy/metalcore sound to it which makes you nod your head along at pace. This will become a standout at the band’s future live shows, especially with the duelling screams from both Alex and Matthew. The chorus is catchy as fuck and really showcases the melodic abilities Alex has, which, over time (from the Fallen Idols EP) she has really mastered and owned. Try to not sing along to the words “take this crown as it crumblesssss”. I guarantee you it’s nearly impossible. ‘Null‘ is up next an immediately within the first 25 seconds or so, I can’t help but think “this sounds like an Architects song!!!” which is a comparison I remember making about the band back in 2017, so the fact that inspiration is still hanging around proves they’ve found the sound and vibe they want to go with and are honing in on it. The first half of the song flows along without many special highlights, but the real magic hits at the 1:58 mark as the combination of both screams and singing lead us up to a BIG sounding breakdown/drop that’s just as heavy on your chest as it is in your ears. Imagining that in a live setting is getting me all kinds of excited. The song ends in the best way with Alex’s screams and a background riff taking us out.
‘Love Makes Cowards of Us All’ is exactly what you think it is. A heavy, emotive breakup song that’s raw and heartfelt throughout and will no doubt bring back those feelings you had for an ex, especially if the breakup was not your decision. With lyrics like “We can’t survive this now/It’s time to say our goodbyes/My heart is broken now” and “I’ll bash my head against the wall/If it’ll take my mind off you/I lie awake every night/Thinking about what I put you through” you can feel the pain of fucking something up you’ll live to regret later in life (or until you find a new fling), either way, this is a great way to wrap up those emotions with that situation and set them free (or dwell on after listening to it over and over and over and over again). ‘Void‘ wraps up the EP but not before unleashing one last blast of energy from everyone in the band. Josh and Larence’s duelling throughout can be heard if you focus on just the guitars, which, at times can be hard with so much going on at the same time, but still packs a punch. I would have loved to be able to hear a longer section of instrumentals during that one where the rest of the band shine (or some cleaner riffs), but as a whole, the song still rocks.
Drown This City are back and they’re grown, honed in on their craft and sound angrier and tighter than ever. The progression and determination this band has had over the years is mesmerising to witness as a critic (and more importantly as a fan) and I for one can’t wait to see what they do next. Let’s hope it’s not as long between releases though…
Drown This City – Alpha // Survivor EP tracklisting
1. Don’t Forget To
2. Stay Broken
3. In Your Image
5. Love Makes Cowards of Us All
Alpha // Survivor is Out Now via UNFD. Get a copy here.
Review by Browny @brownypaul
ICYMI: Revisit Drown This City frontwoman Alex Reade co-hosting the latest episode of Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall right here
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