A great example of how good a side project can be!
What do you get when Stray From The Path guitarist Tom Williams and Stick To Your Guns vocalist Jesse Barnett join forces for a new musical undertaking? You get their brilliant side project Trade Wind, of course.
The duo's new project, which was formed only a few months ago, is a sonic cross over between the likes of Thrice, Deftones and Balance And Composure, and their sound is something very different from their respective hardcore bands. Despite being a far cry from their usual bands, Barnett and Williams have crafted a sound a lot of their fans would have never expected. From the monolithic sounding 'Fixed Blade', right up to the final chorus of 'Dead Leaves', 'Suffer Just To Believe' is just pure quality front to back. This release is a real breath of fresh air for alternative music and it's members.
The crunchy riffs and the powerful tremolo lead guitar melodies are all brilliant sonically and in their delivery. Furthermore, the overall post-hardcore instrumentation seems quite familiar to what a lot of new wave post-hardcore bands, like say Balance And Composure, have been doing as of late - which is not a criticism at all. This is shown off in the EP's first song and its lead single, the standout 'Fixed Blade'.
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Barnett's soaring vocals, which seem to emulate a Chino Moreno (Deftones/Crosses) tone at times is really solid. Barnett steers away from his main hardcore vocal style from STYG, with only one fully screamed vocal phrase popping up right at the end of 'Pulling Strings'. Instead, for this EP, he shows off a far more melodic and dynamic side to his voice, something that he can't necessarily experiment with when performing under STYG. The same can be said for Williams, who now employs a far cleaner, warmer and ambient sound to his guitar playing than his usual work in SFTP. No straight-up hardcore, bouncy Rage Against The Machine-inspired riffs are anywhere in sight!
The only criticism with 'Suffer Just To Believe' is that it just isn't fucking long enough. At just under 19 minutes long and with only five tracks to get into, many may find themselves wanting much more material to delve into, as it is just that good! It'll be interesting to see if the new STYG and STFP releases show any influence from this beauty or if they save those for a future Trade Wind release. Only time will tell.
It seems that side-projects are all the rage nowadays. However, sometimes these side projects can really achieve something truly special. Trade Wind's debut EP is a superb example of achieving that something special. It shows that when two members of two bands get together and create something exciting, something completely unexpected. This five track release shows a great "new" side to Tom Williams and Jesse Barnett. Hopefully, this won't be the last we see of Trade Wind...
1. Fixed Blade
2. Pulling Strings
3. White Pipes
4. Pain Is A Gift
5. Dead Leaves