Gears’ EP ‘Pride Comes Before The Fall’ has taken a while to get to us here, which is a shame, as it most definitely would be in my top 10 of EPs last year. This Miami four-piece are going to be ones to watch, that is for sure.
The title intrigued me, as I wondered if this was tongue-in-cheek or nerves. Are they telling themselves not to get too carried away? Whatever the reason, they should be very proud of this offering, as it is a beast. Enjoy the plaudits, and if I do say so myself, shout your name from the rooftops, as if you are not going to, why should others?
I had a quick read through the labels blurb that always accompanies a release, and I had a perplexed look on my face… what the hell is ‘active rock’? Well, within about three seconds of opening track “Rise With Me” I had found out. It is furious, fast, and as brutal as you can get without slipping into the realms of white face paint and inverted crosses. It kicks off with serious drumming and some spaced and well placed guitar. We then get vocalist Trip Six ripping me a new one. As much as this is a slice of brutality, it is also very melodic and seriously catchy.
Okay, one track down, press pause, check the mirror for black eyes and bleeding eardrums, nope, okay, on with the show. “Take Away” starts as ‘Rise…’ left off, but settles, and we get as close to calm as you are going to get from Gears… but that doesn’t last long. The drums keep pounding, the guitar drags its scream down your spine, and again you have another slice of metal chaos with a hook that gets dug into your very being.
With the next track” Let Go, Go Crazy” I am getting slightly worried. Have the guys been holding back? Can I cope? Strap yourself in, fella! This one has a thunderous sound with an excellent chorus and Trip taking his vocals to the very edge. The solo on here is also worth some serious praise. Bobby Thomas earns his wages right there.
With “Live For Today”, we slow right down and focus on Trip’s performance. He carries off the melodies and the balladish approach well. This would be an 80’s MTV hit without doubt. It would be massive and on constant rotation. Easily accessible, but very much in the here and now, and with a message we should all heed as our rock icons fall at our feet in the news… You don’t have to live like Lemmy, but grab his approach to life and do what you want (as long as it is legal…I am not getting any court cases here, folks).
“Face Down” brings forward the distorted vocals before bursting into another panorama of sound, attitude, and depth. Throughout all the songs on this EP, they do seem to stick to what will probably be a formula Gears will be known for in the future, but these songs are far from repetitive. Each track twist the perspective slightly without you even noticing.
The last track of this EP is aptly titled “End This”, and I can only envisage this as a UFC fighter tapping out… Okay guys, I have had enough, and as the Trip shouts… “I cannot take any more”. Another killer track and wraps the whole affair up nicely, although I am left wanting more.
So, my first glimpse of Gears was immense. I loved the power and depth. The vocals and the brutishness, mixed with the deliberate overbearing of the bass and drums. They have managed to walk the line between as heavy as fuck and melodic, and I have no idea how they managed it, but I want more. Guys, it’s a new year, get in the studio and get a full length released, please.Review: Ritchie Birnie]]>