by Tim Birkbeck
Melodic hardcore is a term which is open to so much interpretation. Over the last five years alone the genre has probably merged and transformed a handful of times. But with German five-piece, Earl Grey, there’s a sense of throw back to the bands which got me into the genre. Punchy guitar riffs, which have a hook, layered with passionate vocals.
Taking on elements of other successful German hardcore bands like More Than Life, Defeater, Verse, and Have Heart, Earl Grey’s EP, The Times You Cross My Mind, faces the difficult task of putting the band’s own identity across over the course of five-tracks.
Opening track, ‘Nothing’, sees Earl Grey start off in fifth gear. The opening guitar riff will have you nodding along, while the vocal rhythm will find you resisting the urge to punch the air and sing along. It’s a theme which runs throughout the EP.
Earl Grey also bring back something which has become a bit of a lost art in hardcore; the concept of gang vocal choruses. As hardcore is all about the energy of the crowd you can imagine piling on your friends trying to grab the mic singing the chorus of ‘Never Sleep’ back to the band.
EP highlight, ‘Snake Hips’, perfectly encapsulates everything the band is trying to achieve with their music. It has a fast rhythm to it, passionate lyrics and those all important gang vocals. There is even a real groove bass break down, which nicely breaks things up and keeps the pace of the song.
Just as things are starting to build some momentum we’re onto the final track, ‘Hollow’, which, by the time it finishes, leaves you wanting more. However, I want more now, not later.
Although a little on the short side, Times You Cross My Mind is a solid record and is a sign of great things to come from the Mönchengladbach five-piece.
The Times You Cross My Mind is out now via Midsummer Records.