Artist: Go Forth
Some things can only be learned by experience. Think back to the first lessons life ever really taught you—those primitive moldings and youthful definitions on your developing mind. These are things that no one can really teach you. Sure, your mom or dad might tell you time after time, “don’t touch that stovetop, you’ll get burned” or “don’t forget to tie your shoes, you’ll trip,” but those lessons aren’t truly internalized until scalding pain sears them into your brain, or a near-death journey down a flight of stairs ties the mental knot tight. How does this pertain to New York’s melodic hardcore act Go Forth? They truly deliver to the listener what countless acts have tried so dutifully to teach throughout the years: a glorious amalgamation of passion and melody; aggression and beauty. Combining hard-hitting and heart-wrenching emotion with driving, intricate melodies (and just a splash of heaviness), Mindful is a breakout work of art which will surely show the listener what it is to feel.
Like a calm, slight—but refreshing—breeze on a hot summer day, the first thing the listener is greeted with on Go Forth’s Mindful is atmosphere. Rather than jump right into pulse-pounding heaviness, Go Forth choose to welcome the listener with subtle touches of ambience and create a hospitable foundation upon which to build their sound. “Le Mans” does that, painting a beautiful picture with scenic, soaring guitar and paving a smooth path with rolling, booming percussion. Like all things, however, this serene introduction only lasts so long. Before the listener has time to truly embrace their surroundings, “Le Mans” picks up the pace, as the percussion quickens and the ethereal guitar lines converge into one dynamic and catchy motif. In this respect, the listener is truly welcomed into the home which Go Forth have crafted—dynamic songwriting and stellar, if not simple, instrumentation which creates an oscillating, effective backbone for Mindful to stand tall. “SRG” is another track that utilizes an expert approach to the gradual dogpiling of the song’s respective elements. Starting off with nothing but a simple, frantic snare, before long, “SRG” morphs its way into a full-fledged obelisk of melodic hardcore perfection. These types of gradual metamorphoses are just the tip of the iceberg of things which make Mindful such an intriguing release.
Once Mindful’s rolling, imaginative instrumentation snares its hooks in the listener’s head, the powerful, emotive lyrics are truly free to invade their mind. From the very beginning of “Le Mans,” Go Forth use the smooth, simple (yet powerful) instrumentation to deliver lyrics which truly grip the listener’s heart. “Balance,” however might be Mindful’s most exemplary case of this. While the guitar teeters on the edge of brooding, dissonant heaviness and smooth, flowing atmosphere, the vocals convey lyrics of struggle—and obviously—balance. However, as the dissonant, gloomy nature of the guitar grows and the drums start to pound harder and harder, the vocals steadily gain an aggressive hint until, finally, the vocals push the song over the edge and into a spine-crushing breakdown which brings hints of beatdown-styled heaviness into the band’s eclectic dynamic. “Balance,” is not the only example of Go Forth’s stunning lyricism and the harsh, grating shout which carries it to the listener’s ears—it is simply a strong example of the group’s cunning songwriting.
It is the combination of brilliant musicianship, stunning lyricism and raw, emotive screams which truly makes Mindful a well-thought lesson in how to feel. By building intricate, intense and tangled vineyards of sound with simple, catchy building blocks, Go Forth draw the listener in (“Le Mans’” introduction is especially archetypical of this). Once the listener is intent enough on the band’s brilliant instrumental execution of melodic, passionate hardcore, the lyrics begin to wind their way into the listener’s brain. As the percussion in “Balance” pushes and pulls, pulsing in time with the listener’s heart, the lyrics follow suit, soaking into every ounce of their essence. In this manner, Go Forth inject the listener with passion, angst and aggression and allow them to duke it out, using the listener as the battleground.
You don’t have to be as cold and emotionally defunct as a rock to be taught something by Go Forth. Mindful is a detailed, dynamic and deceptively catchy debut release by a band who is poised to take over the melodic hardcore scene. What’s more is that with every spin the listener gives to Mindful, the more they learn about the genre and themselves.
For Fans Of: Motives, Artisan, Counterparts, The Ghost Inside
By: Connor Welsh