CD / LP
After listening to Syren City’s portion of their split EP back in December, Louder Than War’s Will Thomas jumped at the chance to review this larger helping of the band’s efforts.
The new Syren City EP Escape is a total of five unrelenting slugs that prove that these newcomers mean business! The first round to come flying out of the chamber is the track Bleed.
Bleed’s intro alone sucks you in just so the chrous can spit you out! Choppy verses and screaming choruses held together by tribal, almost caveman drumming and meaty guitars leave room for a pushing-and-pulling sway which is enhanced by apt vocal stylings throughout the track.
The next track, Our Disease, confidently affirms the Syren City’s arrival. An angsty, torn and tortured number about dealing with the aftermath of a break-up. Although tracks like this are usually can become an absolute right of passage for the heartbroken self-indulgent frontman, the unity and brotherhood of Syren City; the sharing of Our Disease; The solice of ‘your pain is our pain’ type of mentality adds a leavel of comfort to a song that otherwise flat out kicks you knackers.
Fire in your Name cements the gang mentality further with chanty, gang vocals verses and a guitar lick that runs through you like liquorice through a goose! My only critiscism on an otherwise great song is the songs context. Though agree with the song’s mentality stating that ‘it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven’, it does feel the Fred Phelps is a minor offender in context of religious evils, and therefore a safe and easy target. However a good song is a good song, and it is very much still early doors on Syren City’s career.
Next up is Long Way Down, which continues the theological themes reported on in Fire in your Name. This galloping forth course from Escape sounds like a hasty descent into pits of hell and nicely links up to the Milton-inspired finale, Asphodel.
The album’s final track sounds confident, accomplished, honest and the perfect note to which to end the EP on; leaving the listener wanting more, yet satisfied with a resounding, gasping, breathless “I’m sorry for nothing, for nothing’s all I have”.
Escape is an excellent effort from the Bristol-based quintent, but really what is most notable for me, is even though Escape deals with it’s chosen themes quite maturely, it is a fun album – it’s enjoyable! Not that this a bad thing! Not to say, of course, that Syren City sound juvenile, nor that they can be accused or having an pop connotations, but the album just sounds refreshingly honest.
All words by Will Thomas. More writing by Will on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.