Review: The Sound EP – Exit Black
If a band with any ambition want to impress me they should take Exit Black’s debut EP ‘The Sound’ away and study it. This exciting new release is a mini master class of solid yet versatile tracks that demonstrate many different flavours of rock music with gentle fusions of alternative genres. From the summery, commercial, stadium jam ‘The Sound’ to the dark, dramatic undertones of ‘Where Did The Time Go?’ The Sound EP leaves no room for filler. It’s a pity that it’s only five tracks in length, having said that there isn’t an ounce of flab anywhere to be seen on it. After listening to it I was stunned to learn that this band have only been together in this particular line up for a matter of months as I know bands who have been together for years who can’t achieve this level quality in a studio recording.
Track by track analysis:
Opening with the title track, ‘The Sound’ is the most air-play friendly of the songs and a great way to introduce this young UK (Luton) based band to the world. Through the murky, dark electric intro (reminiscent of Ash’s ‘Burn Baby Burn’) a jollity, upbeat riff kicks off accompanied by the warm vocals of lead singer Tony Bignell. This is a real stadium / festival number with an incredible solo courtesy of lead guitarist Joe Devine which really wets the appetite. (4/5)
Next up is the track which really made me sit up and take note. With its wonderful Ska undertones, ‘This Is The Life’ is an edgy, aggressive little number that reminds me of The Offspring, with a little touch of Crazy Train. ‘This Is The Life’ has a raw, authentic, live quality to it, which although professionally produced doesn’t sound dampened by studio sweeteners. It’s an intoxicating track and in my opinion the most interesting pieces on the record. Its unconventional styling makes it one of my personal favourites. (5/5)
‘You’ve Got It Wrong’ is probably the heaviest track on the record and has a touch of metal influence. With its lengthy instrumental intro setting precedence, vocalist Bignell seems to take a step back to let the band lead. Accompanying with sporadic (all be it powerful) vocals, it’s the heavy, adrenaline pumping rock that steals the limelight and brings to the forefront what a tight, professional operation Exit Black really are. (4/5)
‘Memories’ offers a bit of a change of pace with some beautiful, slow, sultry, moments interjected amongst classic rock. ‘Memories’ has a much more open, ambient feel to it with some rich multi-layered backing vocals and a lovely chorus. (4/5)
And to finish up we have my favourite track of the EP. With its beautiful stripped back piano intro, flawless lead guitar and dark, dramatic lyrical portrayal ‘Where Did The Time Go?’ is probably the most powerful and mature track of the bunch, both in its composition and tone. For me it’s the best song on the record and a sensational climax to round up the experience. (5/5)
Overall it seems that Exit Black have made a conscious effort to ensure their debut record has something for everyone, but if you were to ask me for the highlights I’d say that ‘This Is The Life’ & ‘Where Did The Time Go?’ are my personal favourites. I’ve been playing this EP in its entirety many times over since its release and I can strongly recommend it. A welcome addition to my media library. Make sure you check it out.
Final Score: 5/5
The Sound EP is available to own from iTunes & Amazon
Also available to stream on Spotify.
Exit Black are…
Tony Bignell – Vocals/Keyboard
Joe Devine – Guitar
Henry Green – Bass
Jamie Byrne – Drums