‘EPisode1’ is the debut EP from York-based artist, Cold Culprits. Though featuring five tracks and travelling wildly between genre influence, the direction of the EP is a little hazy…
First up on the EP we have ‘Full Moon, Empty Promises’, where each layer of the track is played at full force from the get-go. Panned synthesisers blanket a groovy bassline, sliding guitar chords and crash-filled drum fills all within the first thirty seconds. Unsurprisingly, the vocals struggle to match the impact of the busy instrumentation and are lost within the mix. The distinction between the track’s structure is also lost within its hyper melodies and with the brunt of the song’s excitement being blended together from the beginning, ‘Full Moon Empty Promises’ misses that distinctive spark needed as an EP opener.
Following on is ‘Ribcage beats’ which displays a more gripping stamina than the preceding track. Though it carries the drama of ‘80s pop/rock, the overdriven guitar paired with the commanding synthesisers again, resurrect the problem of drowning out the track’s vocals. Similarly following a jolty busyness to the EP’s opener, the differentiation between the track’s sections blend into one another through a lack of refinement. Though it features a breakdown towards its latter end with vocoder-vocals, this just feels like a very obvious next step for the style of music and denies the listener a signature twist from the artist.
Taking more of a ballad styled influence, ‘Here Comes The Neighbourhood’ ignites with a trebly bass melody and bright piano adlibs. The chordal structures used in the track are a basic pop-style and with that, pairs itself with a predictable double-tracked vocal melody. The more simplistic compositional aspects feel like they’re overcompensated for through the piano and the bass, which travel on the contrasting end of the spectrum and bring unnecessarily crowded melodies to the song, making the whole track feel uneven and mismatched.
This time exploring a glam-rock influence, ‘Sweet Apathy’ is the penultimate track on ‘EPisode1’. The mixing throughout the EP has faced issues within each track but ‘Sweet Apathy’ doesn’t feel like it’s been mixed at all, with every element of the track feeling like its battling to reach the forefront of the music. It does, however, spark a reminiscent air of an intimate gig with a PA system that’s five-times too big for the venue. Due to the manic instrumentation, the vocals really struggle to make their mark on this track and even become slightly pitchy at points in an attempt to battle through.
Staying within the struggling realms of the EP, ‘EPisode1’ unfortunately doesn’t close with a strikingly memorable track. The double-tracked vocals unaesthetically clash with one another and though they may have been going for a rough-and-ready feel, the pitchy vocals just sound strained. The direction of the track is just a bit of a mystery as there isn’t a strong focus other than throwing everything together and hoping for the best.
The experimental energy is certainly obvious throughout ‘EPisode1’ but the overall focus of the EP just isn’t very strong. The direction seems to jump from genre to genre, and to say that there is so much compositionally going on throughout the track, the tracks themselves struggle to radiate anything overtly memorable.
All that being said, please do remember that this is just one writer’s opinion and it may differ greatly from your own. Check out ‘EPisode1’ for yourself and see what you think.