REVIEW: Out of My League – Resented [EP/2016]


Artist: Out of My League 

Album: Resented – EP


It’s one thing to dislike someone or something—Hell, it’s downright easy. I dislike traffic jams. I dislike when people use “irrigardless,” or “myriad of.” It’s something entirely different to resent. Resentment implies both a deep, emotional investment and a calculated, precise negativity towards a given person or thing. To resent is to be bitter as a byproduct of experience and malevolent energy—which makes Out of My League’s debut EP more than aptly named. Out of My League are a new band, but what they lack in age and reputation they readily compensate for with prodigal talent and crushing aggression.  These Bowmanville bruisers combine pummeling hardcore with rigid, sharp metal to create a lacerating, lurid and aggressive release that covers a full spectrum of human emotion—with resent being just the first step.

Out of My League leap right for the listener’s throat with a precise, carnal instinct that Canadian “-core” bands are becoming more and more recognized for. Between the introductory track and the whirlwind “A Loaded Gun,” it quickly becomes apparent that these Ontario oppressors bring far more to the table than a couple cool riffs and some meaty chugs. Percussionist Anthony Rizzuto utilizes his sprawling kit to create both melody and murderous heaviness by the handful. The slow, simmering build up found in “Resented” is a great example—especially as it collapses into a skull-splitting breakdown that segues smoothly into “A Loaded Gun.” Rizzuto rhythmically pounds at his toms with a bouncy, catchy candor—but before the listener gets too comfortable, he pulls the chair out from under them and snaps their neck with speedy, snare-heavy patterns or beefy, bass-laden breakdowns. The anthemic “Blind,” or the sharp, metallic barnburner “A Black Sheep”are excellent examples of this, just as the closing track, “Recover” sees Rizzuto at his most muted. Indeed, the breakdowns like those that dot “Blind” see Rizzuto doing more than hammering away with disregard for the listener’s sanity—they see Rizzuto working with bassist Ali Bayat to make every thick kick drum smack feel like a horse hitting the pavement after a fifty-story free fall. Bayat may not steal the show often, but his work with Rizzuto gives Resented a ruthless low end from which guitarists Taylor Comeau and Steven Simpson can craft bastions of bold, brilliant metalcore. Comeau and Simpson range from soothing segments that favor atmosphere and ambience (see: “Recover”) to whirlwind tracks like “Spineless” that snap the listener’s backbone without second thought. The duo combine deep, dirty grooves with hefty chugs and clear leads to establish a driving dynamic, giving most songs at least one glorious climax for the listener to look forward to.

Where Out of My League’s instrumental approach ranges from bitter brutality to brilliant beauty, the band’s vocal approach is slightly more consistent with the title of the EP. Indeed, frontman Dom Paron embodies Resented throughout a great majority of the release—from the catchy introduction to his role alongside Ontario juggernaut Aiden Versteegh (of Falsifier). Paron’s voice relies heavily on a harsh, thick mid-range yell that dips and soars into earthy lows and sky-high screams for dramatic effect—even taking the title of “Recover” to heart with soothing cleans—giving Out of My League just enough vocal diversity to escape monotony. Where Paron’s vocals—particularly, his range—find themselves on the upper edge of average, his lyrics are personal and powerful, from the haunting refrain of “Resented” all the way through “Recover.” Here, Paron wins the listener, penning beautiful lyrics that keep the ears, head and heart of the listener firmly invested, waiting on the edge of their seat for the next screamed, shouted or sung syllable.

Dynamic musicianship and solid vocals featuring stellar lyricism make Resented ultimately a winner. While some songs (“Heart of Hate” and the closing of “Blind”) lack enough punch and substance to make them truly memorable, others (“A Loaded Gun,” “Spineless” and “Recovery,” as well as most of “Blind”) are nothing short of masterpieces. Out of My League—while youthful—have tons (or tonnes) of energy and intelligence, enough to fool most listeners into thinking they are veterans of the metalcore scene. Those thirsty for crystalline leads, catchy vocals or crunchy breakdowns need look no further, as Out of My League have them by the boatload, giving fans of heavy music something that surely won’t be resented. 



For Fans Of: Drag the Lake, Wage War, Gideon, Counterparts

By: Connor Welsh