ep review ~ 'demo 2014' ~ apartments

Band Name: Apartments
Genre: Punk//Emo//Hardcore
For Fans Of: Hotel Books, Parkway Drive
Location: Belfast
Twitter//Facebook ~ N/A

Though we are not known for our coverage of the darker end of Belfast's musical spectrum, the rapid rise of power-trio 'Apartments' proves a curious read indeed. Fast-tracked from stray post-punk wannabees to supporting A Plastic Rose, the young city band seem to have came out of nowhere to take on the scene. Here we look at their beginnings, in the shape of the appropriately titled 'Demo 2014'.

Be warned, this review may make for some uncomfortable reading, as Taylor Johnson attempts to get his head around a band described by A Plastic Rose's own lead guitarist Ian McHugh as "exciting" and "downright brilliant" by promoters of some stature. Here goes nothing...

To start, I am not generally a fan of hardcore music. Anything devoid of melody or doom laden, generally doesn't sit well with me. For Belfast's  'Apartments' however, I felt I would attempt to understand their heavy world of raw energy. I expected menace, power and total commitment from these young puritans and all that and more is delivered on their opening track 'Later Days'. Though it may take multiple listens for the non-hardcore ear to adjust to drummer Ryan Butler's screaming, the noise which accompanies him is powerful and aggressive. It rises and adjusts to ASIWYFA levels, particularly towards it's crescendo. The bands use of feedback and spacial harmony is also commendable, though there's just too much anger here for me to really enjoy it for what it is. I want to understand their singer more, for one thing. You feel 'Later Days' is Apartments finding their feet and to be fair, bar the odd stumble, they stand up well.

'Nothing Could Spoil A Morning Like This' is an instrumental to further the groups live potential. Close your eyes, and you're immediately transported to the tiny confines of Draperstown's Cellar Bar back in it's hey-day. Just how well Apartments would have went down there, (alongside Axis Of and Fighting With Wire etc.), we may never know; but you can certainly imagine the place rocking. Leading the way with a Hotel Books sort of vibe, the addition of spoken word poetry over Apartments songs may be a beautiful path to cross one day ~ hopefully so!

By 'I Don't Do It On The Spot' the band have almost won me over. The tracks enthralling guitar and the desperation in their singers vocal is reminiscent of a young A Plastic Rose. While the tracks faster sections remain lost on me, it's chorus certainly packs a punch ~ it almost doesn't matter that the backing vocals appear flat, or that you still can't quite make out the lyrics. This short Demo EP somehow manages to convey a story, from it's aggressive opening, to it's triumphant finalé. If they can mirror the verve of their recordings to the live stage, Apartments could be ones to watch out for in 2015.

Taylor Johnson

No comments

Powered by Blogger.