Review: Renaissance Kids – 'Another Life' EP

I just love when Rock/Metal gets a kick up the ass and takes a completely new direction (except grunge, never grunge, no to grunge…do not mention it again), and everything gets shaken up. Were you there when Linkin Park hit the scene? Evanescence? I was, and the excitement literally ran through my veins. This was all new, it wasn’t tired, it was not the same formula, and that was exhilarating.
I may get shot down here but I feel those two bands in particular never lived up to those initial ground-breaking songs and albums. I felt they both became far too mainstream, and the individuality got lost along the way somewhere, but the legacy remained, and as always happens, you get a new influx of bands who want to take the new formula created by their heroes, and push it to where those bands should have.
 I am talking about bands like Amity Affliction, In Hearts Wake, and one of my live favourites, Dead By April. They took the sound and twisted it some more, yanked the ‘you haven’t heard this before’ lever as far as they could… this is where Renaissance Kids come in.
 
They may be a new band, and this may be their debut, but you cannot tell from this EP. The sound is immaculate, crystal clear, with amazing production throughout. They slot right amongst the aforementioned bands with ease, and listening to this, you almost get the feeling that they know this. It jumps out at me that they are cocky so-and-sos with a cheeky smile and a “yeah we know we’re good” attitude.
 
The first play was good, the second excellent, and the third outstanding. I was left wanting more, and you can ask for nothing better of a debut release.
 
The EP kicks off with “Undertow”, a brashy, frantic start, which settles quickly but not for long, The song mentions tidal waves, and you really can feel the ebb and flow of a sea throughout this song. You have a calm, flat outlook, serious metal waves bashing against the rocks, and then a whirlpool that drags you down deeper and deeper into their sound. You get furious guitars, light and dark vocals, and a seriously catchy song.
 
Next up is “I can See Everything”. You go straight into a juggernaut of riffs, with the abrasive side of the vocals. This is driven along with keyboards, building the layers of music from the bottom. It slows down in the middle, and really gives that Evanescence vibe, before getting all Amity on your ass. An excellent tune which will have you banging your head whether you are alone or sitting on a crowded train.
“Aeviternal” starts very slow and is very, very much of a recent Linkin Park sound. It is crammed full of atmospheric vocals and sounds, but for me this was the weakest track. It was crying out for pure decimation on top of the gentle, slow burning number. Not a bad track by any means, but I was waiting for aggression and brutality.
 The EP finishes with “Time Frozen And You Set The Fire”. It kicks in straight away with the keyboard overlay and the skull-bashing riff work. It fades down to that slower vocal part before being ripped apart by grating, guttural screams. This in turn gives way to haunting female vocals. This is an outstanding track, a well worked composition that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
 This is an excellent debut, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a love of this type of genre. It is very well done, lyrically sound, and the production is top quality. This is a band to watch out for, as I think we may be hearing their name mentioned a lot in the not-too-distant future.
Review Ritchie Birnie
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