For Fans Of
In the email I received with the new EP from Reading funk/rock outfit, Peace In Chaos, it said, “FFO The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Hacktivist”. When I read that, I thought to myself ‘Fuck to the yes! Let’s check these guys out’, as I like each of those bands so it was a no-brainer. Now, I feel this is stating the obvious but when people list other artists in an FFO section, it’s because those other bands obviously sound like the one in question and much of the time, the subject shares or even shows direct influences from those other mentioned artists. At least, that’s how I personally do it for my reviews here, anyway.
As for The Final Clause Of Tacitus…well, one out of those three bands isn’t bad.
First off, I can only assume that the Hacktivist comparison came in because both the Hack-boys and this band have rapped vocal phrases in their music and a strong element of groove. They’re also both from the UK, even though a geographical similarity doesn’t necessarily impact the music side of things. That’d be like me saying that if you’re a fan of Parkway Drive you should go check out Flume because he’s also Australian. Silly, right? Anyway, that’s where the comparisons stop. For The Final Clause Of Tacitus don’t play in a heavy drop tuning, don’t have a triple vocal delivery, no breakdowns, and they stick to a four string bass/six string guitar rock band approach. Oh, and nor do they have an insanely good cover of Kanye West’s/Jay-Z’s ‘Niggas In Paris’ like Hacktivist do. Just sayin’.
Slightly more on the money was Rage Against The Machine, whose influence does subtly come across in the guitar riffs and the overall tone of the guitars here (see: ‘Give Them Blood‘.) But even then, The Final Clause Of Tacitus – who I am just gonna call TFCOT from here on in – lacks the contagious energy, driving tempos, and pure attitude that helped made Rage Against The Machine the powerhouse act they became. What made Rage’s stomping sound work so well were Zach de la Rocha’s primal vocals leading the charge, and you felt that anger and energy in every single bloody syllable. Yet here the vocals, while not awful, just don’t carry the same level of anger and striking delivery. Essentially, they sound like a watered down version of Mike Patton. So basically, the timbre and range of Anthony Kiedis!
Now, TFCOT nail the whole ‘Us Vs Them’ lyrics, but it’s all wrapped up in these pseudo-social-political dressings. (All six of the EP’s tracks are a good example of this, and the cringy social media critique in ‘Your Next Click‘ was just painful). Look, that lyrical approach can work for some bands like Green Day but here, it just doesn’t and at worst, it all feels very shallow. Plus, these four dudes also don’t have the engaging fretboard-skipping guitar solos nor the bang-on deliveries that Rage displayed so powerfully either.
As for the influence and comparison that is most certainly apt, we have the Red Hot Chili Peppers name drop. However, while the RHCP influence here is hard to ignore, I would actually liken TFCOT’s music to the last couple releases from the Peppers. Which is to say, the worst output from that band. The funky bass lines and simple but groovy drum patterns here are indeed leafs ripped right out of Flea’s and Chad Smith’s books, and that’s fine; if you’re gonna play in a funk rock band, then you might as well borrow from one of the best rhythm section duos in the business. Furthermore, Faith No More are also a clear influence on TFCOT’s sound. For instance, both ‘Hidden Patterns‘ and ‘Snake Town’ sound like B-sides from ‘The Real Thing’. However, their annoyingly dull choruses and following sections kill both song’s initial energy and drive; something that happens far too often with this ultimately derivative EP.
Look, if you’ve consumed enough Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More for a single lifetime and you want a far less aggressive, far more mild version of Rage Against The Machine, then maybe you’ll enjoy The Final Clause Of Tacitus’s new EP.
The Final Clause Of Tacitus’ new EP proves that imitation is the most sincere form of unoriginality. Lack of originality aside (and hey, being original ain’t fucking easy to do) the core issue here is that the six song’s that make up ‘Peace In Chaos’ all fit into the same old, mid-tempo funk rock template, with little variation on the cards. After the halfway point – the slow yet actually dynamic ‘Without Resolve’ – the EP drags along until it eventually reaches its inevitable end. Aiding and abetting this problem is the fact that these songs, on an individual level, go on for longer than they have any right too; seemingly idling along until they come to an end. They just don’t go anywhere that interesting either, despite often starting off on a really strong foot, and I’m hard pressed to recommend this release to any true funk aficionados.
- 7 Years
- Give Them Blood
- Without Resolve
- Snake Town
- Your Next Click
- Hidden Patterns
‘Peace In Chaos EP’ is out now. Is it just me or does the EP’s cover look like the cover of a metalcore band’s release? Also, holy shit, this is the shortest review I’ve done in a long while.