Release Date: October 7th, 2016
Genre: Post-Hardcore/ Post-Rock
Facedown Records truly seems to have a knack for finding talent to add to their impressively diverse roster and their recent addition Comrades is definitely confirming this with their label debut “Lone/Grey”. The three-piece post-hardcore act has been coasting under the radar seemingly since their formation, and building themselves from the ground-up. Despite prior time spent in obscurity, however, their newest release proves that they warrant your attention.
What immediately impressed me during my playthroughs of Lone/Grey was the band’s unbridled mastery of transitioning from the punchy kicks, sweeping riffs and licks, and powerful low screams to the soft and lush guitar soundscapes accented by the sweet and airy vocals of bassist Laura McElroy. It is an intoxicating contrast that is executed flawlessly, across multiple iterations mind you, and it stands out amongst many other bands that handle this kind of switch awkwardly or downright poorly.
With this dynamic, I couldn’t pull myself away, especially for the first half of Lone/Grey, and it satisfyingly scratched both my itches; for heavy music and pleasing melodies. My only complaint with this release, though, is that this element is present on nearly every track therein, and can lead to a sense of “samey-ness” that sets in after 5 or 6 songs. A smidgeon of interspersed variety would have truly set Lone/Grey far above its competition, yet in comparison to the rest of the album, it is a minor issue.
It is also quite impressive that such a mature and intricately technical sound comes from the hands of only three musicians. Each member of Comrades seamlessly slides into their appropriate roles during pulse-pounding moments of metallic edge and brutality, as well as during the lofty and beautiful reprieves. Guitarist Joe McElroy and the aforementioned bassist Laura McElroy weave together complex and tightly performed rhythms and sweeps. Percussionist Ben Trussell “seals the deal”, so-to-speak, with equally competent drumming and harsh shouts and screams at the same time.
Those who are looking to break the norms and popular trends of the metal scene at large are undoubtedly in for a treat in Lone/Grey. In their prior efforts, Comrades have always seemed to strive for fidelity to their own, now fine-crafted, sound and this unquestionably edified on this record. In fact, Lone/Grey represents the fruit cultivated by several years of hard work and musical development, and it would be a shame if it did not go recognized.
Comrades has the potential to be a true post-hardcore tour-de-force; one of many bands that could, and I believe are, breathing new life into the scene. If Lone/Grey, an already incredibly solid and well-polished effort is an indication of things to come, then I urge you to turn your lens onto Comrades. And pick up a copy of this stellar post-hardcore romp while you’re at it!
Check out the music video for “Dark Tongues Pt. II” from ‘Lone/Grey’ below!