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EP Review: Cruel Young Heart

★ 

Cruel Young Heart, unsigned indie rock band, originate from Vancouver B.C and after first forming in 2010 have released a self-titled EP earlier this year (which can be streamed free on their website (http://cruelyoungheart.bandcamp.com/).

Now I was actually requested to conduct this review, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the band. However, once I listened to the complete album, I instantly loved it. You’ll be immediately intrigued with the catchy choruses and simple experimentation of synthesisers. The song that really stood out for me was ‘Don’t Come Any Closer’, simply because I love how the raw emotion portrayed in the lyrics contrasts with the upbeat tempo of the drums and synthesisers, maybe this was an average dance track but for me, it was a lot more poignant than your David Guetta or Calvin Harris.

Despite the fact that the EP only has 5 tracks as expected, the songs seemed to be sounding vaguely similar to one another and I did find myself listening to the album quite a few times until it stuck in my head. Perhaps this is just because the band are getting their sound out to the public, but I do think they should try a more varied mix of musical styles. From listening to the album, I felt that their musical style was completely the same in every song, except for a slight difference here and there.

Once you listen to songs like ‘Nighttime Glow’, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the excellent fusion of guitar riffs and synthesisers. The band have adapted a simple yet effective style that works really well for them. Repeat the hook enough times, and there you go, you’ve got a catchy song. The vocals of frontman James Blackmon reminded me slightly of Simple Plan vocalist Pierre Bouvier. I do admire the vocals, the slightly edgy-punk vocals on songs like ‘Don’t Come Any Closer’ mixed with the more softer notes on songs like ‘The Hardest Way’ fuse together nicely. I did feel however, there wasn’t much vocal range achieved on the album. It seemed like the vocals stayed at one level and didn’t offer much to the listener.

One thing I really like about the band are the lyrics. Unlike some other modern bands, they have meaning and delve deep into the theme of the album – love. I also appreciate the consistency in terms of theme in this album. As the band name suggests, it’s all about the darker side of love and all the songs in this EP follow through that theme, rather than becoming contradictory like many other bands.

Moreover, the album art is really eye-catching. From my personal photographer/webpage designer’s point of view, I believe it to be very eye catching and edgy. The photograph itself has great meaning and I love how it can be interpreted in many different ways. I agree with the colour choice of the album title, yet I don’t quite agree with it’s placement. If it was smaller and more centered perhaps, it wouldn’t detract attention from the actual photograph which in itself is quite beautiful.

So in conclusion, for the reasons provided, I am awarding Cruel Young Heart a great 4/5 stars! It’s a good album, but there are improvements to be made which is purely because of the fact that it is a debut EP. However, for a debut release, it’s a brilliant effort! But, (and there is a giant but), I think that if the band don’t experiment more with different beats that they have a danger of becoming an average band that sounds like the dozens of other bands out there. That’s part of the reason most bands don’t get signed – there’s a carbon copy of them that are already famous and selling millions of records. Record companies need a strong reason to sign a band; they need the confidence to know that a band will make them money. Which is why I strongly advise the band to try a variation of different sounds.

That this band need to hurry up and get signed, because I can see great things in their future! (or so my psychic powers tell me).

Music Bloggery Recommends:Don’t Come Any Closer’, ‘Nighttime Glow’, ‘The Hardest Way’ and ‘All The Stars’

 

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