Irving Rose – S/T EP

Irving Rose

I don’t know much about the New Jersey four-piece Irving Rose other than that they are one talented hardcore band. On the surface, they blast away like many others, with relentless percussion, powerful, chugging guitar work, and screamed incoherent vocals. But below the surface, you’ll realize that these guys are playing 1:30 hardcore blasts of chaos. These four songs are long and in-depth, and the instrumentation is quite impressive, centered around guitar that’s equally confident quiet and melodic and fast and driving. It’s that instrumentation that makes the band stand out to me and makes these four songs something special.
The opener, “A Tooth for a Tear, A Life for a Year” starts off loud and fast with screams and driving beats and guitar, but there’s moments when the guitar gets a bit less intense, and the vocal approach takes on a really unique cadence, given more prominence to stand out and really shining. In contrast, “Okbye To” starts off moody and melodic, with soft guitar flowing beautifully over soft rhythm and a quiet atmosphere. This intro alone was enough to make me enjoy this EP, but the instrumental picks up in pace and energy, not overpowering but strong, and it flows into the intense and lengthy “Water Ran Thicker.” The screams here are blistering, almost pained, and the guitar here has an almost metal-like edge to it that works surprisingly well. About mid-way, the song really takes on a new emphasis, with sung backing vocals that remind me of Boys Life in a way. And then they break into this awesome melodic break-down that just makes me swoon. Much more traditional hardcore, “Lose Myself” blasts away with noisy intensity and passion, with driving, powerful guitars leading the way. But it also has its moments of more melodic guitar that helps break things up nicely.
These guys are good. I’m guessing they aren’t even close to meeting their potential. Right now, the loud and fast moments are a bit chaotic, and with a bit more restraint on the vocals, they’d have a more powerful delivery. But Irving Rose is the best band I’ve heard to blend hardcore, emo, and metal since Cast Aside, and their instrumentation is stellar. I can’t wait to hear more from this band.