Friday, December 12, 2014

What We Do In Secret - "The Migration" EP Review

September 16th local, christian hardcore band What We Do In Secret dropped their sophomore EP “The Migration” on Itunes in preparation for the release show and music video shoot at The Hi-Tone.
    These six guys, including Memphis student Josh Adams, compiled a jammy, six-track tribute to religion with the most pristine production to “grace” a Memphis metal band in recent memory.  Such production is due in part to the boards being manned by Bobby Lynge, guitar player of Fit For A King; who have made significant waves of their own in metalcore scenes throughout the country and whose word of mouth seems to radiate everywhere from Nashville to Instagram.
    Fresh off of extensive shows on the Vans Warped Tour, Lynge crafted WWDIS’ already empowering, technical sound into a dynamic and enticingly smooth array of riffs and rhythmical sturdiness built by the capable drumwork of Devin Harris and complemented by the gnarly, throaty shriek of Adams’ lyrics.
    Evidence of Lynge’s metal-mixing “know-how” becomes apparent early-on when the guitars on title track “No Shelter” flawlessly vanish to make way for a slithery bassline by Drew Nance that sonically is surrounded by rhythmic, dungeon-chain(?) effects; dynamically allowing the distortion of Adams’ vocals to cut through with an emotionally pleasing vengeance. The band builds and then kicks back in after guitarists Austin Barnes and Clay Crenshaw swap a teeth-grindingly tasty riff that remind the listener of the well-balanced tone the guitars are recorded with on this record.
    It is on the second track “Brothers Keeper” that Secret lets their Norma Jean influence right out of the bag with organized chaotic bursts of bendy axe-work and 3 second blast beats, but also straightforwardly commune into a headbanger of a breakdown around the 1:20 mark reminiscent of acts like their producers’ own group. The band continues the track with a meaty, southern influenced guitar riff complete with panic chords that prove “Brothers Keeper” to be a short, yet memorable piece of “The Migration” with tons of replay value.
    “Water It Down” changes pace with it’s clean guitar intro and anthemic clean vocals that sing “Pull me back together with the pieces that you found at the bottom of the river. I gave into the current and I let my body drown.” as Adams’ answers the end of each line with his rhythmic yells and ultimately screams “That’s where I found my savior”.                            
   The organized chaos WWDIS is locally known for returns on “Den of Thieves” and offers several catchy vocal patterns sure to please any gang vocalist or concert attendee looking to exorcize attitude. The band bursts into a ¾ time signature on the title track which peaks after the chorus refrains “I’m a Wanderer. I never knew myself. I’d move from here to anywhere” when Adams double tracks his vocals to scream “My existence is as you define it. I am as you define me.” over trippy, introspective riffage reminiscent of a more hardcore-based version of Tool.
    The group ends the EP with “Grey Grace” a track that takes a page from The Devil Wears Prada’s “Louder than Thunder” and effectively closes the experience with ambient production and mournful vocals.   


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