Montrose in Scotland is stuck halfway between Dundee and Aberdeen and isn't really a hotbed of talent when it comes to music (or football while we're being honest) so you can imagine my surprise when the debut EP from the plucky lads at If All Else Fails dropped onto my desk here at MetalTalk Towers.
Describing themselves as "A rock band. We play loud" pretty much sums up this band, but what they don't tell you is that they have an ability to produce some incredibly catchy tunes and can also play these track in a very professional and competent fashion.
Take the track 'Falter' for example, which starts off with a very - solid drum beat which has such a great sound! Metallica tub-thumper Lars Ulrich could do well with learning a lesson on drum sounds from If All Else Fails drummer Jamie Kinghorn as the latters sound is just solid and booming, like drums should be and not sounding like a load of old tin pots like Ulrich's seems to more often than not!
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As for the track itself, the main riff of 'Falter' is a fantastically meaty riff that wouldn't look out of place on a seventies Black Sabbath album. The vocals from Stuart Thomson are slightly further back in the mix, set underneath a murky musical veil which gives the track an extra bit of character but all in all, it's a great track.
'One More Day' is a more furious track with, again, a great guitar riff which carries you through the track. The drums are placed quite far back in the mix which sometimes has the knock on effect of them being overpowered by the guitar tracks, but it's still a very accomplished track. Again, Thomson does very well with the vocals, and is especially good during the choruses.
'An Idea Of Me' kicks off with another Sabbath-type riff before settling down into a good mid-paced number. Vocalist Thomson puts in another excellent performance again, however, the guitars occasional obscure his vocals - not enough to block them out, but occasionally, a bit of concentration is required from the listener to work out the vocal lines. There is a really good instrumental section in the middle, and it's things like this that prove this band have real talent.
'Hate It All Away' is the last track on here and, for me, ties with 'Falter' as being the best track the band present. 'Hate It All Away' has it all really - good heavy, moody guitar riff at the opening before an acoustic sound takes over as Thomson gives a heartfelt vocal performance, and his best of the EP.
The catchy chorus (with the resurgence of the moody riff) is just so well done before the track again reverts to the acoustic section during the verses. This is a very strong end to a very strong EP, and I look forward to hearing more from the band in the near future.
One More Day
An Idea Of Me
Hate It All Away
If All Else Fails are:
Stuart Thomson – Vocals
Scott Grant – Guitar
Stewart Laing – Guitar
Lewis Paton – Bass Guitar
Jamie Kinghorn – Drums
Online: Official Website: http://aitpcg.bandpage.com/
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