Volumes come clean with their new EP.
If you’ve been holding out for new Volumes material, than the band’s got your covered with their surprise new EP, ‘Coming Clean‘. Overall, it’s one third old, one third borrowed, and a final third new; three-parts solid. In short, it ain’t bad! Nothing will ever top ‘Via‘ (2011) and ‘No Sleep‘ (2014) for me, but it’s great to see Volumes forging onward and trying out new stuff.
Volumes bassist Raad Soudani has since commented on the EP’s release, noting where the band are coming from with these six new songs, writing:
“Some of us have struggled with depression or drug issues. We’ve battled those demons personally and together and found a nice stability and substance. At the same time, we’re coming clean with ourselves. We’re men now. Life is more precious. The music reflects this honest idea of opening up. ‘Coming Clean‘ is an emotional moment for us. I hope you feel something when you hear it and gain some perspective. This is Volumes. ‘Coming Clean‘ hints at where we’re headed in the future.”
As it were, ‘Coming Clean‘ is the band coming clean; them being adults about tough personal subjects and talking openly about depression and drug addiction. In some ways, this EP is a look-back on where the group have been this decade, but also where they may possibly go in the future. It’s almost like a bridge between what was and what will potentially be. It’s mostly familiar in songwriting, but it’s also a little different at times too. So let’s get into the actual songs.
Excluding Chris Fronzak’s guest vocal feature near the end, opener ‘NO LOVE‘ is just classic Volumes; Diego Farias‘ djenty riff-output, drummer Nick Ursich’s incredibly bouncy playing, and just the band’s heavy sweetness. One thing that’s always struck me about this band is that with the exception of 2017’s ‘Different Animals‘ LP, they’ve basically been recycling the same sounds, tones and patterns from ‘The Concept Of Dreaming‘ EP (2010) and ‘Via‘, as evident by ‘NO LOVE‘. Sure, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, but surely some refinement can still happen? Still, this isn’t half bad. At least Raad’s tone is as crisp as ever!
Singer Myke Terry (ex-Bury Your Dead) has a wonderful voice, and he brings so much soul to the band’s melodic shifts with their use of synths and clean vocal sections, like on ‘hello goodbye‘ and ‘ALIVE‘. (The EP’s inconsistent capitalisation with it’s song titles is annoying when writing about it.) People still moaning about Michael Barr leaving the band are just living too much in the past, honestly. These two particular tunes are where the EP shines the brightest, feeling like a mature Volumes but still maintaining the heaviness and riff factors, just now with added substance to the lyrical content. And after questionable past tracks like ‘On Her Mind‘, I back that hard.
With Gus Farias‘ rapped-screams and the band’s electronic undertones, Volumes aren’t just into heavy music, and the trendy pop sounds of ‘Revenant‘ shows that; electro-percussion, cleaner guitars, atmospherics, keys, various synths. It’s a relaxed, cool little track. Nothing that special or super interesting, but a nice palette cleanser for the EP and a decent segue into ‘Until The End‘, with the latter song re-using the pitched vocal cuts from ‘Revenant‘ as well.
‘Until The End‘ is more or less the EP’s high-point, summing up what makes Volumes great and what works about their melodic yet hard-hitting prog-metalcore sound; slick, gated guitars, proggy rhythms, great hooks, and all. This is actually that refinement that I was talking about earlier. So, if you’re feeling a little tired of the band’s sound, be sure to give this EP a proper go.
Ending on the title track, ‘Coming Clean‘ (as a song) sees the five-piece getting their pop on with more emphasis on Myke taking a larger vocal lead, more rap-flow, “whoa-oh” sing-alongs, but it still finds plenty of time for those typical Volumes grooves, bends, and air-tight chugs. If anything, that’s what ‘Coming Clean‘ is really trying to achieve: showing the world that Volumes themselves wish to grow out of their established sound and incorporate new ideas into their metalcore mixture. Hopefully, this will also be indicative of where their next album goes, whenever it drops.