Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Landscapes: 'Modern Earth' Album Review

 When we think about hardcore punk as a music genre there are a few things that come to mind, for most of us: A certain raw, abusive vocal nature with thrashing and unrelenting riffs behind it has become part and parcel of what we expect from the genre in 2016. Somerset’s Landscapes, in some ways conform with this, in others they spit right in its face.

For new record ‘Modern Earth’ the abrasive and expected tones of hardcore punk have evolved into a more enigmatic, and thought provoking experience and in some places this evolution is met with great success.

‘Observer’ ‘Death After Life’ and ‘Embrace’ is around 7 minutes of some of the most compelling and exciting punk you will hear in 2016. More than just aggressive vocals over fuelling riffs, this is atmospheric, adventurous and future proof punk. Lyrics such as “Ever since I was born I’ve been waiting to die” in ‘Observer’ are delivered with such empathy by vocalist Shaun Milton that the brain immediately marvels and the spine subsequently tingles. The intensity of Milton’s vocals added to the fusion of anthemic styled rock behind him makes these tracks absolute stand outs on the record.

As a record however, this doesn’t really progress as time passes throughout the album, both ‘Remorser’ and ‘Escapist’ give an aura of filler to Modern Earth, with both being slow paced almost acoustic style songs that attempt to build into something bigger, a hardcore ballad if you will, but neither track ever really reaches such a height and these tracks do little for the album and seems as if it was maybe an adventure too far for Landscapes.

Both ‘Transient’ and ‘Neighbourhood’ keep to the same themes as previously pressed in the record which doesn’t exactly result in bad material, but does leave a feeling that something different and fresher could have made an entrance into the album. Both have fine, big, pounding choruses but don’t really progress into anything more than a decent listen awaiting an implosion. This, in some ways could be a summary of the entire latter half of Modern Earth.

For young bands, taking risks is something that needs to be applauded in itself, diverting from convention on only your second album could be a move fit for disaster. For Landscapes, this is far from the case. While Modern Earth is not the finished article, it supplies enough moments of genius and adventure that it is a consistent, exciting listen.

Twitter: @landscapesuk

Fuel Rock Club

Fuel Rock Club
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