01 Sep Earthbound ‘Evergreen’ (EP Review)
EarthBound (the video game) features many traditional role-playing game elements: the player controls a party of characters who travel through the game’s two-dimensional world composed of villages, cities, caves, and dungeons.
Earthbound (the band) features many traditional metalcore elements: the band controls a party of listeners who travel through the bands new EP Evergreen composed of breakdowns, riffs, choruses and also dungeons.
Before talking about the musical aspect of this EP, I am legally obligated to mention the artwork. Just like a wrestlers entrance music, the album artwork is critical in the overall success of a release. I once refused an album review because the artwork was so god awful, true story. With all that said I encourage you all to stare into the artwork above like the hypnotoad from Futurama. Shit looks like a summer blockbuster with a 90% chance of Morgan Freeman narrating the entire flick.
Constellations kicks off proceedings and immediately you are hit with an avalanche of noise. No minute long synth intro that leads to nothing, ain’t nobody got time for that. Opening up with something reminiscent of Architects Black Blood the intensity does not waver throughout. I especially love the constant drum changes that accompany all of the lovely guitar work. It’s fast paced. it’s urgent, it sounds like a band who wants to leave a lasting impression on you.
Buried in Verona vibes accompany the song Eden and once again we are off to the races. The high energy becomes infectious as Earthbound flex their muscles on this cut. An excellent pre-chorus/chorus combination is something that I haven’t heard a lot of in 2020, with guitars adding major scope. Not only that but it’s what Earthbound do coming out of the choruses that elevate the track even further. The improvement on the clean vocals need to be mentioned being increasingly apparent on the bridge, very impressive.
Title track time and immediately we get an array of influences bleeding through Evergreen. Polaris/Killswitch Engage-isms are subtle, but it’s how Earthbound build off them that is impressive. Once again an above average chorus is elevated by what happens either side of it, combining melody and brutality together. Later on we get a section sounding like Hyperbole by DREGG which I personally can appreciate. The breakdown sounds like someone cat calling which is a weird observation even for my standards, don’t cat call kids, that shits gross. Just when I’m convinced the song is wrapping up, Earthbound hit me with Sweet Chin Music and crush my fucking skull with heaviness.
Thrive contains arguably the best chorus on the entire EP giving off a hint of In Hearts Wake vibe in the process, think Healer. It’d almost be rude of me to talk about Thrive without mentioning the guitar work throughout. Genuinely impressed, I nearly started doing the spirit finger salute in appreciation, nearly. Breakdown on this cut is hard as fuck and when that final chorus hits, I feel like how James Franco looks, pretty goooooood.
Evergreen does suffer from certain moments blending together a little too much for my liking. Also the type of metalcore being presented could be described as trendy. But because the band made the decision to only release 4 tracks, I never felt bored and I never wanted to skip a song early.
I fucking hate bands who try and turn an EP into a magnum opus experience. Bitch you don’t have time for that nonsense. Just inject me with the best version of yourself and pray I give you the thumbs up. In that regard Earthbound have crushed it. This isn’t the greatest musical experience of the year by any means, but it doesn’t use any gimmicks, and it doesn’t take you for an idiot. Evergreen is a roller coaster, so hold on, enjoy the ride, and try not to throw up.
Evergreen is out September 2