Album: [O]perations [EP]
Chaos. Unbridled destruction. Malicious devastation. Like the jaw of a snake, unhinged anger and hatred engulf your home. What was once peace and tranquility is now violence and discord, as your town, and way of life fall victim to a savage attack. The national guard has been dispatched. The Army is en route, but it’s too late: escape is your only chance for survival. This scenario is almost entirely analogous to the onslaught waged by Californian quintet Answer[s] with their debut EP, [O]perations.
First, there were a series of crashes, followed by a series of rapid cracks. Then, the ground shook, and overhead, sirens rang. The world you knew, as fragile as an egg shell had just been dashed out upon a concrete step, leaving your perceptions of the world to fry on the pavement. [O]perations is comprised of many of these same elements. Deep, ground-rumbling bass, high pitched, cracking snare hits, earth-shattering vocals and guitars with muddy tones that sink like lead while simultaneously incorporating soaring, siren-like harmonics and riffs. Featuring elements of fast, heavy-hitting deathcore and brutal, skull-smashing beatdown-oriented hardcore, Answer[s] use a variety of instrumental elements as an elaborate canvas for vocals to work upon with starkly contrasting highs and lows.
You thought you could handle the situation. Sure–You’d gone to the training, watched the tapes, taken the fitness test, everything you were told to do. Everything seemed routine, at first. But the more things progressed–the closer the explosions got to your doorstep–the more things seemed to deviate from the norm. Answer[s]’s EP does the same. At first, [O]perations seems like pretty standard fare for what it is. Heavy where it should be heavy, blisteringly quick where it needs to be, but nothing inherently special. Then, things start to change. The closer the listener presses their ear to the speaker, the more they begin to appreciate the gritty, shrill nature of the vocals. Or the brilliant use of samples throughout “WMD”–especially during the climactic breakdown. Where Answer[s] make the best use of the element of surprise is the glorious, poignant conclusion of “Suppressor,” where the clean vocals kick in, and the band swaps out their familiar face-rending brutality for a more melodic dynamic.
Run. That’s the only option left, the only syllable your brain, heart and gut can agree on. While it isn’t perfect, and it might not pan out, it’s all you’ve got. While Answer[s] do pretty much everything right–astounding heaviness, surprising melody, well-done instrumentation and exceptional vocals, it’s all still tell-tale of a band still developing their sound. More than anything, [O]perations shows tons and tons of potential for a band which still seems to be fighting like a lightweight. None of this hinders the EP from shining–it’s an engaging, short and ear-catching release–one that makes the listener crave more. However, that “more” isn’t just more material, it’s more development and fluidity.
Barely, you made it out alive. You haven’t heard from your family yet, and the refugee camps are bursting up all over the wartorn country. You’re currently living in a small, southern Californian community, hoping to start a new, cleaner, fuller life. Just like yourself, Answer[s] still have a little bit to learn, and a little bit of maturing to do. But [O]perations is still an astoundingly engaging debut effort for a band who has shown that they have, with a little more willpower, the potential to take over the world. Or what’s left of it when the dust settles.
By: Connor Welsh/Eccentricism