Vilify – Clarity EP
Released: 4 December 2020
Amy McIntosh | vocals
Kieran Jackson| drums
Deni Hourihan| guitars
The dumpster fire that has been 2020 is almost done and Newcastle melodic hardcore trio Vilify is sending it off ferociously with their EP Clarity. Each member of this supergroup comes from other rad bands, but this EP shows they were meant to be together. You know how EPs go, they only last a short time, but Clarity is a fucking a good time!
The ferocity starts straight away with debut single ‘Habit’, opening with fantastic guitars from Deni Hourihan and relentless drumming from Kieran Jackson. Vocalist Amy McIntosh is of course known for incredible bass playing in The Beautiful Monument, but holy crap does she have some vocal chops. The song is about addiction and is a plea for strength to get off a destructive path, and anger and pain show through Amy’s incredible delivery. ‘Habit’ sets up the rest of the EP perfectly with energy that doesn’t wane.
Following ‘Habit’ is second single ‘Deadweight’ which picks up where ‘Habit’ left off. It is about seeing a friend’s true colours and the anger of being stabbed in the back. This song has a kind of Distillers feel to it and a dancey-chorus. There are also some siiiick bass parts in this song, can we assume Amy recorded these, seeing as they don’t have an official bass player?
Speaking of great choruses, title track ‘Clarity’ has yet another one. I can’t wait to join everyone with fists up screaming ‘Breath in/ breath out’ when I get to see these guys play live. The drums really stand out in this song and keep a frenetic pace.
By now you’re probably noticing I have nothing negative to say about this EP and that every song is as strong as the others. Well, ‘Decay’ is no exception. Deni brings wild guitars to all the song on this EP and ‘Decay’ is a great example of this. Her riffs constantly weave the song and are such a highlight. The song seems to be about disgust, and again the energetic delivery from all three band members pushes that message and those emotions across well.
Last song ‘Forgiveness’ is my personal favourite on the EP. It starts with warmer guitars and has a slower feel. The instrumentation of this song has an older feel- to me, it feels reminiscent of pre-Crisis Alexisonfire. While this song is a bit different from the other songs, it is no less awesome. Yet again all three members bring their respective parts to the table and Deni’s more traditionally metal guitars are what the kids would call ‘lit’. There is an incredible build-up moment with pounding drums, and the song is a strong finish to a super strong EP.
Well, I realise I’ve spent 900 words gushing about this EP and perhaps fangirled over/professed my love for Amy a fair bit, but it’s for a damn good reason! The end of an exhausting and challenging year has got me feeling a bit burnt out and my mental health has yet again dived recently (have I mentioned my shitty mental health in every review I’ve written this year— pretty sure I have!) This EP got me excited, and I am so bloody glad I heard it because it will absolutely be in my shortlist for my top 5 releases of the year.
We don’t know what 2021 has in store for us, but knowing these guys will be making strides during it helps me feel like everything might come up Milhouse after all. Maybe.
Vilify – Clarity tracklisting: