Released in March with a Mastering and Mixing job from Marcus Moore, Sheffield Hardcore five-piece Grave introduced us to their very own “South Yorkshire Pain”. Having only been around 12 months, how far can the band have come? Well not only have they signed to Meanstreak Management (also the home of Cheapshot and Moralslip) but they’ve also announced the signing of a deal for a full album with Demons Run Amok Entertainment. If that wasn’t enough, they’ve put out single “End Me” via Hardcore Worldwide as a tease for that album. But we’re going to return to the start and “South Yorkshire Pain”.
The EP starts off with “Hopeless” a track that opens with off kilter cut glass vocals to a backing of a thunderous drum pattern and a Hardcore standard guitar tone. As it reaches it’s closing verse there is a change in vocal tone to a much deeper bludgeoning coupled with the “my life has no meaning” lyric. It’s a bleak track that uses a step up and step down in poly rhymed guitar work to get the message across. It isn’t one that most would have chosen to open their EP with as it comes across as being more of a mid-album tune. However, it has grit, integrity and a message that is on point. “Odium” then appears on the horizon seamlessly as if it is part of the same track before stepping up the guitar riffage. The step up is huge with the band creating something that sounds more like it belongs on a Knocked Loose album. The guitars are choppier, heavier and have that squeal quality to them that just wasn’t there on the opener. Adding in elements of downtempo and beatdown alongside a far improved vocal performance and we’re getting somewhere with this. That bleak quality to the lyrics is an ever present and keeps the band firmly rooted. “Unloved” keeps up the quality adding in a heavier bass sound during a downtempo verse that then floods with feedback and gives the harsh vocals a haunting quality. The slowdown from the relatively fast paced start to it’s closing pummel is deliberately stepped and shows some quality on the musicianship front that gives plenty of promise for their debut full album. The building of dark atmospherics across each of the tracks by using those tempo changes to counter balance the bleak and harsh vocals is impressive [7/10]
“South Yorkshire Pain” by Grave is out now and available over at bandcamp.