Music is one of the utmost forms of expression. It allows its creators to get their thoughts and ideas out there like any art form, but the aspect of music that sets it apart from those other forms is its ability to connect with interested parties on a basic level. This is done by utilizing themes and experiences that nearly everyone has dealt with at one point or another in life and putting it a relatable, connectable way that never feels “too” artsy. Up and coming North Carolina alternative rock act Even Chains are doing just that with their new EP, A Lot Like War. The six-track EP tells the story of how destructive relationships can be and gives an outlet on how to walk away from them. With an all too identifiable theme guiding the record, the connection between band and listener should easily fall into place. So how does it sound?
While there’s a plethora of bands in all genres, rock and its subgenres tend to be overcrowded in numbers and copy-cat like sounds. Even Chains forgoes this and has honed in on a sound that blends the nuances of punk with a harder side to alternative rock, giving A Lot Like War a relatively versatile sound. The opening track, “I’m Not Sorry” is the shortest song found on the record, but showcases the bands willingness to diversify their sound. With more punk-stylized vocals and sound and a repeatable “I’m Not Sorry” emotional line, it’ll ultimately live on in the mind of the listener long after it’s done. Up next is the bands lead single “Great White Buffalo” which utilizes the harder alternative rock sound from a solid guitar riff driving the track to its pounding drumming. Taking it a notch further, the overall vibe of the song is very anthemic in style and ultimately a radio-friendly track. “Astray” delves into the relationship issues that album is thematically built upon and slows things down with a melancholically driven sound until the chorus hits. “Escape” sees the band return to its rock-laden roots featuring more toe-tapping drumming and guitar riffs and gives off a very slight Heartist vibe. “Cold Winter Air” and “If I Go” revert back to a more somber and intense style, both oozing pure emotion through lyricism and instrumentation while still retaining an edgier overall sound.
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Straying away from being too deep and artsy, A Lot Like War lives up to its name in message and in sound; from the concept of how relationships work as someone struggles through them to the back and forth found in the musicality. With six versatile songs to be found, there will sure to be a variety of favorites amongst fans and listeners. Where many artists tend to struggle early on in their careers with the blending of various elements and genres, Even Chains succeeds tremendously in that realm. As the band continues to grow and explore different themes and more sounds, their overall songwriting will continue to progress and lead the band to a very bright future.