Since their last EP “Safety First“, Oxford Hardcore Punks MSRY have been joined by bassist Harvey Lake and grown from trio to a quartet with the axis of vocalist Kial Churcher, guitarist Charlie Bishop and drummer Kier French all sticking together since day one. “Loss” is now the bands third studio EP and their first to break the 20 minute barrier, though only by 22 seconds. It’s also their most ambitious with Liam Cormier of Canadian Hardcore Punks Cancer Bats appearing on “Still Breaks My Heart”.
From the moment the opening riff of “Gemini” kicks in their is a familiar Hardcore Punk energy and stylish confidence in MSRY. It’s something that we witnessed at recent live shows and comes across in the music. It’s like they’ve reached round #3 in a boxing match and have the upper hand. The track itself has that instant headbangabiliy and accessablity of the finer bands of the genre. Having performed “Hail Destroyer” by Cancer Bats live on the regular live and being big fans, getting Liam Cormier on board must be a moment of humbling pride. It’s not often that you get a hero on your own track. “Still Breaks My Heart” was the first single from the EP and rightly so. Both vocalists do a fine job with their lines intertwined like a conjoined twin in places while Cormier gets his own verse as well. The pitch differences between the two voices is what makes it work. “Imposter” keeps the same guitar tones as the opening pair of tracks while introducing some scratches and little nuances that come out of the woodwork after a few listens. Churcher provides a stand out vocal performance, a couple of “Bleigh!” moments and the deep roar of the song title during the chorus showcasing the range we’ve heard live but not necessarily to the same extent on the recordings.
Second single “Guilt” lights up the second half of the EP by taking the bands well known live energy and bottling it. Groove laiden riffs a plenty set the tone for a rythmic battering and the sprawl of Churchers voice is a highlight. As if the “Bleigh!” moments on “Imposter” weren’t enough, there is one on here too and it’s all such fun. “Courage” has a couple of interesting Foo Fighters moments that you might not notice the first time around. Another riff laiden affair, it features some insightful lyrics about Man’s relationship with God and where the notion of Courage comes from. The absence of big breakdowns and leads is a surprise move but the less is more style works well and gives Churcher more space to shine. Closing with the emotive title track “Loss” ends the EP with Churcher barely able to hold it together as his voice breaks with the emotion of the lyrics. It’s not necessary reflected in the music which skilfully avoids diving headlong into Post Hardcore territory and instead remains true to its roots and MSRY’s core sound except for that ending [7.5/10]
Still Breaks My Heart (ft. Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats)