Artist: Create to Inspire
Album: Home is Where My Heart Dies – EP
In today’s rat race lifestyle, everything seems to revolve around the almighty dollar. Even when it comes to music, many bands these days seem to have strayed away from playing with heart and soul to focus on playing what sells—committing energy to music as an occupation instead of an art. With radio top-40 and top-25 lists dominating the airwaves, it’s easy to forget why men and women started making music in the first place.
Which is why Essex-based melodic hardcore quintet Create to Inspire are a true Godsend. Doing their name justice, Create to Inspire combine harsh, frantic dissonance with uplifting harmonies and ear-catching choruses to create something truly passionate. Home is Where My Heart Dies is a harrowing heart-to-heart with the listener that rips open their chest with straightforward aggression, only to heal the deepest gashes on their heart with endearing, earnest emotion.
Instrumentally, Create to Inspire find themselves at a crossroad between poignant, atmospheric post-hardcore and savage, straightforward hardcore. The opener, “History” is a great example of the band channeling the latter influence—as percussionist Luke Taylor leads the charge with a cavalier salvo of pummeling patterns and dizzying fills. “Don’t Let Go” is a more mellow display of Create to Inspire’s penchant for post-rock and post-hardcore; as Taylor slows his roll ever so slightly and synchronizes his kick drum perfectly with the bouncy grooves from bassist Dan Fuller. Fuller and Taylor create a wondrous low end—whether it’s during the spin-kick inducing breakdowns in “History” and “Counting Days,” or their more intimate and subtle interplay during the EP’s closing tracks. One thing is constant, however: the duo serve as a stellar foundation for guitarists Connor McLeod and Jack Morris. Just as Taylor’s drumming strides a fine line dividing savagery and subtlety, McLeod and Morris tackle the same tightrope with the zeal and aggression of a rhinoceros, but the tact of a trained gymnast. “History” is an especially powerful testament to the duo’s skill—as the track ebbs and flows between brutality and beauty with calculated precision. Likewise, the release’s closing (and titular) track sees the two utilizing the build-up and climax tactic as well as a veteran post-rock act, giving the listener another strong example of their expertise.
While Create to Inspire do a solid job of breaking several genre molds with their musicianship alone, frontman Sean Midson is where Home is Where My Heart Dies draws a great amount of its passion and poignancy. Midson’s raw, shrill screams absolutely shred the listener’s defenses, grating at their ears and heartstrings as if each syllable was covered in sandpaper—only for Midson’s soft(er) clean vocal range to heal every abrasion his harsh screams inflicted. This tactic is effective on a micro scale—as each song uses it to an extent—but also on a larger scale. After the first two tracks, which are quicker and more aggressive, Midson opens up on “Don’t Let Go,” which has a closer ratio of harsh-to-clean singing and almost unbearably emotional lyrical content. Midson’s vocals are a brilliant expansion upon his lyrical prowess, as each song sees him tailoring his range and style to stay consistent with his creative, poetic writing. While there are those who may find his screams too abrasive, the only real flaw with Midson’s vocal effort is that there aren’t more songs for him to scream and sing on.
While Create to Inspire’s latest offering is brief, it is also beautiful. True—more material would have been excellent—but Home is Where My Heart Dies is by no means too short, still giving listeners more than enough material to keep coming back to. No matter how many times the listener plays through the climax to “History,” or the powerful closing portion to “Home is Where My Heart Dies,” they never get old. Every instrument comes together excellently with Midson’s raw, restless vocals to keep the listener’s ear on edge, begging for more. If you’ve been condemning countless acts as “sell-outs” or “generic,” then it’s time to open your ears—and your mind—to Create to Inspire, who show the world that there are still musicians out there making music with their minds and hearts—not just their wallets.
For Fans Of: Hundredth, Napoleon, HRBRS, Defeater, Capsize
By: Connor Welsh