So Many Ways – Seer EP
Record Label: Staple Records
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Combining spit in your face punk/hardcore elements with pop-punk does not normally work out very well. However, the riff-heavy lads in So Many Ways make it work on Seer. The main reason things work here is that it all exists within chaos and unexpectedness. The EP is something like 75% heavy and only 25% or so “pop-punk” – which probably isn’t even the best descriptor at all.
Take “Twisted Heat” for example. A straight fire riff starts it off as frontman Colin Corley breaks into a vicious scream. You’re thinking, “okay, I’ve walked into a heavy show,” but before you can finish the sentence, the clean vocals sneak in in a pit fire dance with the heavy elements. The chaos breeds throughout the track and the combination just works. The chorus keeps it light while the rest of the track races to the pit. The intro of “22” further accents the skills of axe men Jason Milbank and Murphy Welch as they absolutely dominate all three minutes of the track. Arguably the heaviest tracks on Seer, both “22” and the guitar solo powerhouse of “Pen Island” really let those two tackle the frets. I mean seriously, that guitar solo on “Pen Island” – nice work boys.
I can’t pronounce it, but “Roraima” has to be the EP’s standout track. It walks the line perfectly between melodic (the chorus is as catchy as it gets) and heavy (the intro could be part of a metal concert). The combination of technical guitar work, in your face vocals, and melody really peaks on this track. Nonetheless, So Many Ways turn the tables yet again on “SMTWTFS,” this time using the clean vocals in a more fast-paced punk fashion. It’s unexpected and against their “formula,” which in fact proves that they have no formula at all – just whatever sounds loudest and meanest.
Sure, this EP may not be for everyone, but I’m willing to bet these dudes really don’t care. They just want to make music that follows no rules and breaks down any genre barriers. The unexpected technical guitar solos tackle each song, while the vocal pace changes constantly throughout the EP. There may not be a while lot of staying power here for me, but I can’t deny that I had no idea what to expect every second when first hearing these songs. It’s this element of surprise mixed with the inevitable sheer chaos that really lets So Many Ways strive in their own corner of the arena.
seems a lot more adventurous than the last ep and unfortunately (and inaccurately) less focused (because constructing chaos like this OBVIOUSLY takes focus).
none of this is bad but it's very hard to digest. you want to latch onto the melodies but, they don't last. then a catchy riff comes around only to take a sharp turn to a manic solo.
i'm sure multiple listens will make me appreciate this ep more. it's certainly territory that few bands would dabble in... and very few can pull off. kudos to so many ways for doing what they want to... shred. i just can't see this style gaining a larger fan base like the breakdown-heavy, pseudo-shreddy pop punk from bands like kid liberty or the shred-heavy melodic punk from a wilhelm scream.