Joshua’s Song – Deeper Under

Tracklist:

1. Straight Talk
2. Strain
3. NFWL
4. Snowman
5. Fijgs
6. Forgiveness Is A Bitter Business
7. X'ed
8. Deeper Under
9. Fake Tooth

Hossz: 34:34

Megjelenés: 2012. január 26.

Kiadó: Collision

Webcím: Ugrás a weboldalra

There’s a lame stereotype in Europe about the Belgians that they only stop raising their level of endorphin by eating chocolate when they check out the news from the European Parliament, so it might be quite surprising for some people that the first three bands that come to my rock-prefering, emo-loving, melody-oriented mind from Belgium are dark, hateful and misanthropic: they are Oathbreaker, Amenra and Rise and Fall. Since the country’s scene isn’t too enormous, it’s no surprise that Joshua’s Song shares members with one of them: Ivo and Lennart play in Oathbreaker, Deathwish’s shooting star from last year. When I add Wim „Stief Positief” Berchmans (guitarist of the acclaimed hardcore punk band, Justice) and Sike (who played guitar in Not Afraid alongside Stief and Packo from True Colours) to the equation you can’t help imagining a filthy hardcore/metalcore sound, but it’s not what you get from the songs of Deeper Under. I guess that this album represents Wim’s desire to follow the footsteps of his „colleagues” Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits/Quicksand/Rival Schools), Pete Appleby (Count Me Out/Renee Heartfelt/Memorial) and Chris Higdon (Falling Forward/Elliott/Frontier(s)) by resting the Airmax and musically heading to a softer, more melodic direction. These nine tracks are the first major advent of this changing and the swan song of this short-lived project at the same time as half of the band became pretty busy after the release of Maelstrom, so they decided to break up after the completion of Deeper Under (Stief and Sike kept on playing together with their buddy from Not Afraid, Gert under the name Filler and they already have a demo). After the last sounds of the record their fate can only be described as “regrettable” since this album is a  great promise – half of which is pending, but half of which has already been kept, as some of the songs flawlessly recall the work of Align, Handsome and Rival Schools. What does that mean? It means that they turned the heritage of Quicksand and Supertouch into excellent, hardcore-rooted rock songs.

Deeper Under kicks off with a great cover art and powerful, dynamic hit songs (Straight Talk, Strain, NFWL), and it instantly turns out that Wim’s clear vocal style is really good and really special at the same time, and it has a key role in giving these tracks a chance at having mainstream success. Contrary to Gypsy’s record (whose singer-guitarist, Alex Russin supervised the mixing of the demo) but similarly to Diamond and I Hate Our Freedom some of their songs could easily get a lot of airplay on mainstream radio stations. However the majority of the album isn’t made up of potential rock hits but of melodies of 90s post-hardcore: although there is a constant vibe of catchiness throughout the record, after NFWL the immense influence of the Quicksand generation becomes quite obvious (mainly in X’ed and Fijgs). There is a part of Deeper Under which is „only” promising, but it doesn’t fall short of this year’s post-hardcore releases (Gypsy, I Hate Our Freedom, Aeges) and it gives the listener a strong feeling about how catchier, how more dynamic a next album could have gotten if they hadn’t broken up. One of Europe’s best releases in this year, and one of our continent’s best post-hardcore records of all time.

8.5/10