UK 5 piece, Wars, will release their debut album called We Are Islands, After All through Spinefarm Records on the 27th of January 2017. The hardcore band from Rugby have been making waves in the UK metal scene and have gathered a strong collection of fans on their way. With a couple single releases from the new album already making good impressions (The Art of Not Knowing and That By Discord Things Increase) how will this third one stack up?
The track Hailing Distance is around 3 minutes and 40 seconds long and is about as typical a hardcore song as you will ever hear. Starting with a clean sung intro over a muffled riff before the heavy, shouted vocals join in on the last word and take over. Dealing with the subject of feeling disconnected from civilisation, trying to make it through each day and the like, the verses are shouted and the singer, insert, has a decent voice that works well with the catchy little riff and drum beat he sings over. A shouted verse, spat out at pace, is followed by a chorus that is cleanly sung, though with the heavier guitar lines, it has a bit more meat to it than the intro singing. The second shouted verse is up next and, like the first, is quite a contrast to the cleaner sung sections. The instruments sound big and I found myself banging my head along. It leads into a kind of breakdown with big sounding guitars and drums over some very angry shouting. This leads into a cleanly sung section over no instruments which I really didn’t like and found to be a bit cringy. The instruments kick back in and, while the singing stays clean, the guitars give the vocals some needed strength and backing before it turns to shouted one last time and comes to an end.
I’m a bit on the fence about this song I think – I just didn’t really enjoy the clean singing sections at the beginning of the song and in the middle, when instruments were either muffled or not present. I personally just found it to be a little whiny and nasally. I didn’t mind the clean singing when backed by heavy instruments though – that worked quite well and I like the heavier vocals a lot. Musically it is good with a simple sounding but catchy riff and some great drum beats and lyrically, while quite typical of the genre, it’s fine and will resound with many listeners.
Hailing Distance isn’t a bad song – it’s quite a good song actually but it is very typical of the genre and pushes no new boundaries at all. It is very safe, and therefore predictable, though that isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. It can be though, when you are about to release a debut and want to be noticed more. Still, there were enough enjoyable moments here that I will check out their other singles and hope for some variation there. I don’t think I would enjoy a full album of this song so I hope, and I am sure, there will be some switch ups in style and song layout. There is certainly enough promise here to make it worthwhile keeping an eye on the band in the future and checking out the new album when it is released.
If you like what you hear, you can preorder the album from here.
Hailing Distance by Wars (We Are Islands, After All)
The Final Score - 6/10
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