Failsafe For Tomorrow’s second EP ‘Give Up The Ghost’ reminds me a lot of an undercooked cake. It has the potential to be really tasty, and you can tell the ingredients that went into it were chosen with the best of intentions, but you just can’t enjoy it. Instead, I was left overwhelmed by a feeling of “put it back in, it’s not quite done yet”.
This Scarborough band sit somewhere between Screamo and Metalcore, two genres which, at least for me, seem to struggle with both originality and issues of whiny angst. Sadly, Failsafe For Tomorrow don’t really do much to change my opinions of either genre. Sure, they are a little less whiny than some other bands, but they still don’t have any sort spark that makes me set them apart from other bands. What Failsafe For Tomorrow do have is a pretty decent mix of genres, but just like every other metalcore band, the singing and the screaming sound a little cut and pasted together. Then again, these may just be my personal prejudices against the genres coming through. If you like Metalcore or Screamo, then at its base, Give Up The Ghost is a perfectly serviceable EP, or it would be if it weren’t for everything I’m about to say next.
I really feel sorry for the drummer on this EP. He gets to drum all the way through, and even gets a couple of little solo moments, but is buried so far down in the mix that half of the drum sounds are almost completely lost. The easiest way to describe the drum sounds are to imagine the band is in one room, and the drummer next door. It’s completely muffled throughout the whole EP.
This may also explain how bad the band seem to be at keeping time at points. I can’t believe that this was not picked up by their producer, or even the band themselves, but at numerous points in the EP, the vocalist and the guitarist are guilty of rushing the beat and each other. For example, the intro to the song ‘So Long, So Long’ is just guitar and vocals, and ends up as almost totally unlistenable. I can’t tell who is rushing who, or whether the rhythms are just clashing, all I know is that it is incredibly jarring to listen to and I am shocked it wasn’t picked up on before release. The guitar rushes ahead yet again later in the song, and there are many other points on the album where the band just is not playing together. Most of ‘Blood To Spill’ is very guity of this, where they are almost playing too fast for themselves.
The band actually sounds a lot better in the limited lighter, floaty sections of some of their songs than in some of the more metal bits. It’s just better musically. I mean, sure, the screaming is very well enunciated (odd praise, I know, but true), but it just sounds like they are trying too hard and sticking in the screaming because the genre they’ve gone for demands it.
Overall, you can probably tell I was not very impressed. You are free to look them up yourself if you are a fan of metalcore or screamo, but you’ve probably got dozens of bands on your music player of choice who can do the job a lot better. I hate to rip apart a new band like this, but they really aren’t ready yet. Just think though, they may have solved all these problems by the time their debut full length release rolls around.
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