Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Album Review: Unkempt Herald - Self Titled EP - Reviewed By: Alan Lisanti

Unkempt Herald
Self Titled EP
Release Date: June 26th, 2016
Label: Lion Heart Records LLC
Genre: Melodic Hardcore/Hardcore Soul
Tracklist: 1. Parabolic Flaw
2. Like White On Brown Rice
3. Thunderstorms And Nightmares
Reviewed By: Alan Lisanti

Unkempt Herald hails from Bloomfield, NJ. They bill themselves as "thoughtful yet aggressive melodic hardcore music", and it's hard to disagree with that assessment. It's also hard to pigeonhole them or categorize them on your own, and that is an excellent thing in this day an age of music. The band has a full length under their belts to date (released last year) called Diatribe, and have just recently released a self-titled EP to give fans a taste of things to come on their follow up full length. Where Diatribe showed a big upside, and a notable diversity within the material, this EP picks up where they left off and pushes all aspects forward in the sense of cohesion and maturity. The band self produces, records, writes, and releases all of it's own material and seemingly embraces the true DIY aesthetic that so many bands these days seem to neglect to remember. The result, or accumulation of all of this tireless work is a strong and promising effort on this latest release. The organic element of rolling up your sleeves and embracing the process has yielded a 3 song teaser (so to speak) that showcases a band who's pieces are mere inches away from all falling into place. Not only that, but the songs have substance both musically and lyrically in an era where too many artists and songs can come across as overly contrived. This EP is not a manufactured effort, or an attempt to chase genre demographics. It is the end result of three members in a band that haven't forgotten it's all about the blood, sweat, and tears. And I say that, because you can literally hear it in the songs. Unkempt Herald can write a good song, but they also have a unique take on when to bring the melody and when to bring the heavy. Because of that, you may notice they seem to care less about labels and genre's, and more about what they and the song are trying to say. That's certainly a good quality to have in a time when so many bands wear their influences on their sleeves. If they stay the course they could very easily hit their stride on their upcoming album, and surprise some people while turning some heads. Personally, I really like the last track, "Thunderstorms And Nightmares" with "Like White On Brown Rice" coming in a very close 2nd. However, front to back, you don't want to miss out on this one. Diatribe showcased a band that was still finding itself. This self titled EP proves they have, and makes you eager to hear where the band is headed in the future. You may want to grab a copy of this while it's available because it could turn into one of those rare and sought after gems in a bands catalog down the line. The band says they will be re-recording the 3 songs on this EP for their upcoming full length. These are the rawer versions of this material, and while production snobs might turn up their noses longing for a more "polished" final product, that rawness works very well here and translates and transcends the music. This is what passion sounds like. In a world of polished productions, watered down lyrics and songwriting, trends, and genre pleasers, Unkempt Herald stands tall on their own feet because they haven't forgotten about the human element in music.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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