Saturday, August 11, 2012

EP Review - Droids 'Droids'

Location: Derry, Northern Ireland

Any review of   Derry, NI's Droids is inevitably going to be a challenge for any reviewer  for two reasons.At some point in the review, the reviewer is obliged , by law, to make a crappy Star Wars reference that causes the reader to mentally facepalm or click on to a superior blog (we recommend Sludgelord, his puns are excellent ) .

The second reason is that Droids themselves are an immensely difficult beast to pigeonhole, sucking in influences from everything from post-punk to grunge to angular post-hardcore.Over five short tracks ,the band establish themselves as awkward noisy bastards par-excellence , fusing blistering riffing with schizophrenic song structures and some satisfyingly caustic melodies.

Opener ' Half Vital'  kicks things off in suitably vitriolic fashion , though is the weakest thing on here admittedly , a fairly standard melodic hardcore workout that appears a weird choice of track to open such an otherwise strong collection.Second track in though, and with the  affecting riffola of 'Astromech and Protocol', the band hit their stride, melodic ,catchy and confident, with a hint of At The Drive In to the tense ,driven guitar work.'Walter' is a fantastic slice of  spazzed-out hard rock, with a rousing chorus, while ' God Doesn't Grant A Steady Hand' is easily the strongest thing on here, the band riding a fat , almost sludgy groove throughout, Johnny McGinley's tortured vocals stripping the paint from the walls with their ferocity.Closer 'Recognizer' has the band stray into more melodic territory, with some lovely use of delays , ending the EP on a high.

It's far from perfect of course, but for a first effort it's pretty fucking good.That said,the production lets it down somewhat, the vocals especially,and even listening on half decent headphones,the mixing is at times muddy and abrasive, and perhaps not in the way the band intended.That said , Droids  is still an enjoyable listen, and considering the band have been gigging just over a year, it's an impressive start.Expect to see this inventive quartet make waves over the next few months.Who knows, these might be the Droids you're looking for.

I'm sorry.I really am.

For fans of: Biffy Clyro, Refused, At The Drive In, Soldiers Take Half
Listen/Download here:

Stephen O' Connor

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