There’s only way to start a band really: to shameless indulge your ambitions to play in your favourite bands. It’s not a winning end formula, but its certainly the best way to start. On the strength of that theory Surrender’s Not An Option have a lot going for them.
This band are clearly passionate about the version of metalcore that barged its way into the mainstream in the early oo’s. As a result its hard to shake the feeling that you’ve heard a lot of the tricks on this debut EP before. That’s probably because you will have heard it before. As result the band seem to sit somewhere between a more metallic Bullet for My Valentine and more pop punk version of Bury Tomorrow.
That being said, commitment goes a long way to selling anything and this release certainly believes in itself. Boundless self belief is surely the only thing that could justify anything as pointless and out of place as the opening track.
However, things do pick up after that. “Reflections” combines some fairly hefty riffage with a tasteful sense of melody to great effect. “Raise the Sails” pacier moments also show a lot of promise. These high points are bolstered by a super sleek and modern production from James MacKenzie over at Soundshape Productions. You could easily be fooled into thinking this band had some money behind them that was paying for a veteran metalcore producer.The band’s weakness is really just getting the hang of stringing their good ideas together and trimming the fat from their compositions.
What might just see this band through, other than a more refined approach to song-writing, is the fact they their two vocalist shtick doesn’t seem forced or bolted on. Both sound great on these tracks, delivering powerful and emotive performances, and there’s enough variety between their respective voices to mean the band could potentially utilise them across a range of material if they chose to. Which hopefully they will.
There’s clearly talent on offer here, but its hard to shake the feeling that sometimes the band are ticking the boxes of what they think modern metalcore should sound like rather than pushing the boundaries of their song-writing. That said, the performances are strong, the production is great and there are a few parts on here that are immediate ear worms.