The “core” music scene is an interesting subject of music and discussion. On one end, there are fans who consistently clamor there’s not enough progression or technicality to the music anymore and that it’s so dried up, everything that could possibly be interesting has already been done. On the other, there are those fans who eat up the non-progression in sound and what is essentially referred to as generic music; something that we’ve all heard before multiple times over. As an avid listener, I enjoy the music that falls in the middle of this spectrum the most; that is music that is more refined in sound and production, yet remains familiar enough that it can be like seeing an old friend again. This middle ground is where I feel progressive hardcore outfit Wind Walkers fall with the release of their long awaited debut EP The Shadow Thieves.
Containing 6 tracks, The Shadow Thieves is in an interesting place in the musical landscape it’s a part of. With a few of the tracks having uniquely creative names (“Master Splinter”, “Aaahh!!! Real Spiders” and “Suck Brick, Kid!”) and the accompanying music of those same tracks being of the more generic “-core” sound, it feels as if Wind Walkers is a throwback to the sound of the later 2000’s that bigger bands have been straying away from. Don’t get it wrong though; this shouldn’t knock the band or dissuade potential listeners as the flip side sees the modernization and progression that music has gone towards as of late. Rather than following the predictable pattern of screamed verses with sung choruses and the inevitable breakdown to make it “heavier”, the band utilizes layered vocals where screamed and sung lyrics overlap as well as utilizing creative guitar leads, bouncy bass and pulsing drumming to really drive the music directionally.
Whether or not you feel The Shadow Thieves is a blast from the past or a forward push in sound for a genre that seems to cause massive internet debates, the truest thing about this release is that it’s straight from the heart of the individuals who compose Wind Walkers. The energy and passion they have brought on each track is undeniable, from a lyrical or instrumental standpoint. Offering up a consistent and true to themselves sound should be one of the main factors driving any band and that is what this EP has to offer. If you’re in the mood for catchy tunes with sing-a-long choruses and pounding instrumentals, this is right up your alley. If not, you’re simply missing out on a solid debut release from a band that will undoubtedly be on the rise.