Album: The Authority [EP]
When it comes to music, there’s no room for half-assing it—you either give it your all, or succumb to bands that do. In an era where the term “overcrowded,” “dense” or “flooded” can apply to just about any genre or style you’re likely to encounter, passion and drive is a must if you want to set yourself apart from the pack. Don’t take it from me however—take it from UK hardcore hellcats Sincerity, who do their name proud. The Authority is a breakout EP that truly establishes Sincerity as an authority when it comes to aggressive, heartfelt and hotter-than-hellfire hardcore. Serving as the listener’s judge, jury and executioner, The Authority is a release that combines dynamic, fluid song structure with cutthroat heaviness and rampaging aggression to prove that Sincerity have both the heart and the head to make it in today’s dog-eat-dog scene.
If heart-pounding, pulse-racing hardcore is what you’re after, look no further than The Authority. The lads in Sincerity are absolute masters at crafting dynamic hardcore that hits like a wrecking ball, but flows with the grace of a ballerina. This is done, of course, with an instrumental structure meticulously crafted to deliver both power and passion in equal doses. Percussionist Dan Hoare simply demolishes the listener, combining beastly kick drum patterns with splashy cymbals and whip-cracking snare hits. Hoare hammers away at the kit, laying a solid, level foundation from which Sincerity can craft their immersive, immense soundscape. As Hoare beats away at the kit, bassist Tom Sandys keeps perfect pace, plodding away with every thump of Hoare’s kick drum. This is exemplified during the closing portion of “Tyrants” and the riveting introduction to “Mountains,” both of which are sure to get the listener’s heart racing and foot tapping. Sandys’ low, thick bass amplifies the meatiness of Hoare’s leaden, meaty bass drum and thick, looming toms. to provide Sincerity with a resonant, deep, but not over-the-top low end that anchors the band’s driving, furious guitar. Jonathan Jones and Cairns Livingstone lay down riff after riff of intense, but catchy fretwork to keep The Authority moving along. Take, for example, “Ambiguity.” While Hoare’s footwork serves as the track’s engine, Livingstone and Jones are the gasoline, flowing hither and to with explosive energy to send the track deep into the listener’s head as if it were a bullet.
Such a marvelously energetic instrumental soundscape as seen on The Authority demands an equally efficient and energetic frontman to seal the deal—if the band is truly to stand apart, that is. Not to be outdone, vocalist Elliot Dixon delivers with every syllable he shouts. Dixon is every pound a dynamic vocalist, ranging from half-sung, half-shouted roars on the introduction to the melancholy “Promise Me,” to boundlessly frantic and energetic shouts and screeches throughout “Mountains” and “The Authority.” While both bounds of his range are exemplary, capable of capturing both raspy highs and melodic yells, his gruff mid-range shout is far and away his forte. The closing breakdown to “Tyrants” does this the best justice, as the instrumentation gets heavier and heavier, weighing down on the listener like a yoke of lead, Dixon does them no favor in lifting the weight. Instead, his brutalizing, rough tone scours the listener’s ears as his voice was a Q-Tip made of sandpaper, giving them no rest, just rough, gritty pain.
Between Dixon’s prowess and Sincerity’s instrumental intensity, there is something for practically any fan of hardcore on The Authority. Where the EP excels—relentless energy and raunchy, pit-inducing heaviness—is sure to please breakdown aficionados and lovers of the chug everywhere. “Tyrants” closes with a demolishing display of heaviness that could sink an aircraft carrier, while “Mountains” is home to a climactic breakdown that could start a mosh put in a nursing home. However, there is more to Sincerity than just speed and power—and this is what truly saves them from becoming just another hardcore band. “Promise Me” is an ethereal track that isn’t light in a conventional sense: what it lacks in instrumental heaviness it makes up for in emotional intensity, creating a true connection with the listener and lifting them away from the remainder of the EP’s tumultuous tides. Likewise, “Tyrants,” while succeeding in supreme heaviness is also subtly catchy, with the simple-but-effective lyrics lining the track’s last breakdown getting seared into the listener’s head for days to follow.
Sincerity truly don’t break into uncharted territory on their debut EP, but, it’s named The Authority for good reason. With the natural, yet carefully crafted sound that makes even veteran bands of the hardcore scene look like newcomers, Sincerity take over the throne as the UK’s reigning underground hardcore overlords—and their reign is not one that will be toppled easily.
For Fans Of: Demoraliser, Preserver, Drowning, Desolated
By: Connor Welsh