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Christian Wagner 09/14/11 07:25 PM

So Many Ways - Self-Titled EP
 
So Many WaysSelf-Titled EP
Record Label: Mightier Than Sword Records
Release Date: September 13, 2011


Here’s a hell of a curveball for the pop-punk/hardcore scene. Take the heaviness and chaos of Comeback Kid, the melodies and lead riffs from Four Year Strong, and then throw in a dash of metal a la Dragonforce and you have So Many Ways. Weird, right? When a friend of mine showed me the band, I didn’t think that music like this could exist in harmony, but lo and behold, it does so and might I say it’s executed with precision and grace that is beyond my comprehension.

The intro track is a face-melting 38 second exposition that showcases the talent of guitarists Jason Milbank and Murphy Welch and their vast influences in the metal and hardcore scene. It segues right into the next song on the EP, “I’ve Made A Huge Mistake,” where the band takes on its best view of the modern hardcore scene, channeling contemporaries like Such Gold. It sets up right into a breakdown and 2 step jam, and then it hits you, the shredding solo. It is completely unexpected and throws a wrench in the formula of what one would expect from a genre like this.

The track “37 Chambers,” which sounds like it could have been a B-side on Four Year Strong’s Rise Or Die Trying, has a definable guitar riff and it showcases the band’s ability to transition between its gruff and clean vocalists. The chorus melody is so catchy, as the guitars and vocals play off of each other that would usually only be found in seasoned bands that could concoct such music. It features the now commonplace guitar chugs which incites the bros to bust out their moshing shoes but still retains its poppiness in the chorus. Once again, the metal influence comes out in the bridge as a technical metal solo invades the song.

It goes right into “Oak Island,” which includes a guitar solo that would make Steve Vai jealous. Once again, the ability to throw the extremely difficult guitar solos is such a presence on the EP and really distinguishes the band from its peers. It must be such a treat to see live.

One of the production aspects I love is the sound of the actual recordings. It's the perfect mixture of being clean and well-done but still maintaining a raw edge about it that provides a certain depth that reminds me of Lifetime's Jersey's Best Dancers. It is just so authentic and so real which makes it easier to listen to than a compressed track from a band that sounds like a bunch of robots playing together.

The thing that is extremely impressive about So Many Ways is that they do everything with such a sense of balance, where nothing ever seems stale. That is a tough feat in this oversaturated music scene, but when listening to the EP, it never feels like the band got lazy and just settled on something conventional. They continue to push the boundaries in every song and it comes of perfectly in the EP.

So Many Ways is going to be one of those bands that I will love to see progress from years to come. Their musicianship will only improve and it could lead to a crossover this scene has never seen before.

RIYLSuch Gold, Four Year Strong, Comeback Kid, pop-punk, METAL


Track Listing1. Take It To The Limit
2. I’ve Made A Huge Mistake
3. Sleep Mask
4. Murf’s Life Hints
5. 37 Chambers
6. Oak Island
7. Dirtfoot


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Cøltøn 09/14/11 07:38 PM

Are these songs re-recorded or any different from the original release (back when it was self-released, I believe)?

Edit: But yeah, I like what I've heard of these guys. Need to listen to them some more.

Thomas Nassiff 09/14/11 10:47 PM

Whoa, I got thrown off when I saw a Christian Wagner review haha. I've been switching between Blink, Man Overboard and this EP all day....it's SO good.

Christian Wagner 09/15/11 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Nassiff (Post 94886772)
Whoa, I got thrown off when I saw a Christian Wagner review haha. I've been switching between Blink, Man Overboard and this EP all day....it's SO good.

I know! I'm just doing it every once in awhile to switch things up.

You have the Man O record? :efu:

cubine 09/15/11 09:34 AM

I hope they incorporate more guitar wanking in the future, I want to hear more of that shit.

This reminds me a bit of a band called Littlefoot, they were a pop-punk band with a nonstop onslaught of chug breakdowns and blastbeats but they never bothered with"brootal" diminished 5ths or growls/screams or anything.

Christian Wagner 09/15/11 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cubine (Post 94902732)
I hope they incorporate more guitar wanking in the future, I want to hear more of that shit.

This reminds me a bit of a band called Littlefoot, they were a pop-punk band with a nonstop onslaught of chug breakdowns and blastbeats but they never bothered with"brootal" diminished 5ths or growls/screams or anything.

Yea, they'll be doing more guitar shredding on the next record.

Jaytothesyg 09/15/11 10:53 AM

I apparently need to check this out?! Sounds fucking aweosme

brandon_260 09/15/11 11:49 AM

I got sent this on it's release day. After reading this review, it's the next thing I will be listening to.

theotheryabs 09/15/11 11:52 AM

holy shit, sounds cool.

Jaimehere 09/15/11 02:23 PM

So it is re-recorded?

kidinthebushes 09/15/11 03:37 PM

Buddy from Senses Fail has been telling people to check these guys out.

I'm glad to see a band from Chicago getting hyped.

Christian Wagner 09/15/11 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kidinthebushes (Post 94923072)
Buddy from Senses Fail has been telling people to check these guys out.

I'm glad to see a band from Chicago getting hyped.

Because he signed them to his label.

maxswellrevenge 09/16/11 09:54 AM

local homies! <3