Caution: Thieves – Songs From The Great Divide (2017)

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Hailing from Melbourne this powerhouse 4 piece finds themselves in a wrestling match between wanting to crush your skull and smooth things over with you. The riffing and post-hardcore energy shows the bands commitment to their art easily enough. Pummelling rhythms, frenzied double kick and tasty drums fills paired with crazy busy lead’s and shredding all feels like it belongs to a band far less concerned with soaring melodies and sincere song writing..but here..they coexist.

For shallow comparisons the material on ‘Songs From The Great Beyond’ feels like a balance between ‘House Vs Hurricane’ and ‘Thrice’.

The opening track ‘Ink Into Water‘ starts slowly and softly. Vocalist Nicholas Simonsen sings beautifully with a tone that reminds me of Ian Kenny in his of Birds of Tokyo’ mode. (read: he sounds awesome!) It’s the juxtaposition of the soft/hard angles of this band which are the most immediate elements which stand out on this opening piece. The band explodes with aggression and screams that immediately shock and transform the sound and without a hint, will twist back to a melodic and mellow passage that push the melody forward.

The middle two tracks share the high energy and heaviness that earn them a House vs Hurricane/Thrice comparison. Some fast breaks and frantic guitar work on ‘A Greater Sense of Self’ are highly enjoyable in between soaring and suddenly brutal vocal work. The bass and drums work tirelessly to underpin the chord progressions when the noodling and harmonised guitars take off. The syncopation of chugs and drums arrive just in time to have the desired effect but it never outstays the welcome. Check this:

‘Years On the Precipice’ has more to sing along with and more moderate pace but makes a strong bracket of music all together.

The closing track on this solid debut ‘And You’ll See The End’ is the longest (at only 4 minutes) and might have been the biggest stretch for the band as they branch into more anthemic rock and in my opinion fall short of the mark. It could be the kind of track that closes out an album and fades to black after an instrumental but in this context, felt a bit rushed. So…not quite a misstep, this track just felt like a deep cut that needed more time and space to really flourish.

The mix is commendable. Everything sounds great, crisp and punchy drums, solid and identifiable bass guitar (thank goodness!) and of course oversized walls of guitar feel perfectly at home without sounding unrealistically massive. The vocal production is really good and whilst not showing signs of excessive studio trickery, feels honest. The doubling/harmonies etc all find their place in the right spots and the screamed vocals aren’t doubled and pitch shifted to satanic tones either. (post-hc bands take notice)

In closing, this is a solid second offering from a band who will no doubt find favour with fans of the post-hardcore genre. The idea’s and highlight moments of each track earn enough repeat value to give this EP some decent shelf life too. I myself listened to it at least 4-5 times before writing even a word just because I really wanted to revisit some of those hooks and highlights!

I look forward to hearing more in the future. Hopefully on further releases the band can settle a bit more on what strengths they want to push forward and refine the sound a bit rather than trying a ‘little bit of everything’ in each song because when it works…damn does it work!

Order it from the link below, it drops March 31!

https://cautionthieves.bandcamp.com/album/songs-from-the-great-divide

https://www.facebook.com/cautionthieves/

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