Nuneaton-based rockers Speaking in Shadows are back with the follow-up to their 2014 EP The Lies We Lead; a modest six track EP known simply as The Anchor.
SIS start the proceedings with lead single Capsized, a song that’s been making the rounds on ScuzzTV as of late. There’s a huge surge of energy when the initial riff kicks in, breaking into some solid vocal work from frontman Adam Smith. With just a drum track as his backing music initially, he really gets a chance to show off his impressive range before the rest of the band kick in. It took me a few listens to get into this song but the chorus is deceptively catchy and is the definite stand out on the album.
Second track Scatter follows a similar formula, throwing in some ‘woahs’ from the start and pounding rhythms through the verses to keep the sense of urgency they’ve been crafting. Figure of Eighty slows things down for the first time as track three, and works surprisingly well.
One good thing about this band and the way they write music is that it’s obvious the songs aren’t written with a specific part in mind. The vocals, guitars, and drums all contribute equally; none of the songs on the album are carried by any particular aspect, as they work as cohesive units. So many of the bands in this genre of music write songs that highlight the vocals over everything else, and whilst the vocals here could certainly carry a song if the band had desired, the songs feel more complete because of their decision not to write that way.
The EP does fall into some of the stereotypical pitfalls of the genre. Some of the songs start to sound a bit same-y, with similar structured verse/chorus dynamics appearing through at least half the record. The band are still relatively fresh as an act, so this isn’t a huge issue; they have time to refine their craft and add some more sprinkles of innovation to their music as they move onwards and upwards. The raw talent is there; album closer Easy for You is a clear example of this. It combines everything the band do well into a neat package at the end of the record, sounding like a combination of early Deaf Havana minus the screams, and Oceans-era Mallory Knox without the dual vocals.