The moment the guitars started crying to each other in the opening 20 seconds of the early sessions, it was smiles all round here. It was so refreshing to have some music that has some bite, some aggression, some dare I say it? Balls. Especially while maintaining a level of maturity, melody and most rare of all, clarity.
The curious element that struck us however was discovering where they came from, we were expecting California, Seattle, or maybe somewhere like the backwaters of Canada. It’s Kent. There’s nothing wrong with Kent, but Chris Horton’s lead vocals, and the back up courtesy of Craig Matthews and Ben Goodey are not reminiscent of a pint of Spitfire in the garden of England, more of a sweat fueled warehouse party In-between a Wendy’s and a Taco Bell.
This must be an intentional move, as the whole production of the band is very US inspired, the combination of group vocals and sorrowful wails that accompany the verses bring back memories of the first time we heard Taking Back Sunday (Tell All Your Friends era). It is however a baffling move still. Despite this there is an overwhelming level of professionalism in the song structure, production methods and lyrics.
As we mentioned the opening of the first track Falling Thin bursts with what we have ambiguously labelled a melancholic energy, the guitars crunch and cry while the drums provide a heartbeat as though you were running from the cops.
Lost follows on as an anti-anthem set deep in resent, with resonating guitars like vicious twisters spinning around the angst ridden lyrics that declare “you promised me the sky”. All this while the atmospheric production ironically makes you feel like the sky is falling down there and then.
The last track Here Again is a more complacent reflection on the time honoured relationship that destroys both parties involved. The rumbling drums, crashing symbols and mournfully melodic choruses and screams create a powerful sense of frustration and despair, but not at the cost of losing pace.
There is an urgency throughout The Early Sessions EP: it’s as though AvaGrace have so much to say they have to blurt it all out like it was a secret they had been harbouring for years. Thank god they did though, because we can’t wait to hear what they have to say when they give themselves a little bit more time to do so. They might have to make time for a Corn Dog first though.