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On Rest Your Head, Ages put the pedal to the metal, and are, like a bull charging at a matador, ferociously aggressive up until the last second of this record. For a band who has had little experience when compared to their high flying contenders in the scene, they sure do give them a run for their money. Hardcore punk at its most belligerent and exhausting, Rest Your Head makes a decidedly audacious mark in amongst the crowd of January 2014 releases looking for a break.
As one of the heaviest tracks on the record, ‘Faith Only There and Then’ establishes Ages as a band with a brittle, gritty edge and a penchant for releasing their anger all bottled up, out onto records like this one. Sometimes sounding overwrought and tired on other records, Ages trademark angry sound waxes adventurous and emotive in base line riffs and driving drum rhythms, steady at one point and then all of a sudden particularly unforgiving and erratic on tracks like ‘Rest Your Head’ and ‘Scorched Earth.’
At first, ‘I Bend and I Fold’ and ‘Three Years From Now’ sound like something vaguely more forgiving, and drawing from influences like Turnover and Balance and Composure, to soften the overall tone of the track. On a further listen however, it becomes apparent that Ages seem to know how to balance the light with the heavy. A little bit melancholy and a whole lot of aggression makes for the perfect recipe in this record, and Ages’ flexibility shines as a result.
Ages’ vocalists have the band on their shoulders on this record, carrying the heavy, grinding riffs and an overall sound that is large and fleshed out, with vocals that coast over the top of all this. Vocalist number one does the tango with screaming vocalist number two, but in tracks like ‘Fate. Only For Here and Now,’ both manage not to distract from the lyrics, nor do they sound at any moment drowned out by everything else.
Ages are a breath of fresh air in a sea of emo records all competing to sound as gloomy and passively subdued as possible. The amount of effort and passion poured into this record is immediately evident. Much like there is a physical exchange between the listener and the artist, both players get out what they put into this record. Listen to this one more than once, and I promise you’ll be hooked.
1. Faith, Only There and Then
2. I Swear I Saw You Wither Away
3. Rest Your Head
4. Scorched Earth
5. I Bend and I Fold
6. Three Years From Now
7. Fate. Only for Here and Now