The Binding – S/T EP

The Binding

The Binding plays a common style of metal with an uncommon lineup. The band boasts a female vocalist, which is pretty much unheard of in math-metal bands. The first impression is terrible after glancing at the bland cover illustrations. Poor presentation aside, The Binding succeeds in striking a chord with fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan and likeminded groups.

Without reading up on The Binding, I never could have guessed the band has a frontwoman. Rao’s scream is a welcome alternative to uber-masculine vocalists, adding minor clarity to the actual lyrics (think Dallas Taylor, ex-Underoath). “A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama” uses songs like DEP’s “Panasonic Youth” as a blueprint. Spurts of calculated guitar shoot intricacies through the entire song while Rao’s dry scream goes to work. Guitarists Andrew Coats and Brian Piccolo mesh their parts together well with tight precision. However, after four minutes of the same frantic parts, excess takes a toll.

The thin-sounding intermission “Addenda” is a lukewarm addition. It’s a toned-down piece of instrumental filler in the middle of the EP. The harmonized guitar tone made famous from hair metal makes an appearance, a violation that must be cited. The Binding lacks the prowess of bands like ISIS, who can combine instrumental and interesting.

Not a bad start for this band, but nothing is too memorable here. When The Binding isn’t concise, it forces repetition, and the initial momentum becomes a casualty.