ARTIST: SIDELINES

TITLE: YEAR ASLEEP // SOUR DREAMS

LABEL: SELF-RELEASED

RATING: 9/10

WORDS: BECTON SIMPSON

Not to be confused with their Australian counterparts, Sidelines are a five piece band hailing from London and have just put out their second self-released EP, ‘Year Asleep // Sour Dreams’. Building on recent successes such as their appearance at Face Down and gathering over a thousand hits on the video to the first single already, the band are looking to take things to the next stage and this EP is certainly a fantastic start.

Containing an unusual and eclectic mix of music that stands out from your usual post-hardcore and metal inspired fare, each track has essentially two titles separated from each other by the double forward slashes. We’re not sure what this means but if we interview the band in the near future we’ll be sure to find out. In the meantime though, go check out opening track and main single ‘Bending // Breaking’. It starts off slow, melancholic and moody, with an excellent and very pretty harmony part on the main vocal line which suits it perfectly. Building up the atmosphere, the track kicks in to a heavier but still fairly slow bridge before building again to the chorus, bringing in the rougher vocal delivery. When it drops out for the second verse, the vocals are pain drenched and raw, filled with genuine emotion – it’s being sung like they mean it. The spoken word section near the end just adds to the dramatic style of the track, bringing in metalcore and groove metal elements. It’s a really great start to the record and it’s all uphill from there.

“without doubt Sidelines have a massive and exciting future ahead of them.”

Carrying on with ‘This Is Mourning // This Is Empty’, which initially masquerades as a more fast paced, standard type of heavy song, then emerges into a surprising middle section/breakdown before kicking back in again. The guitars are energetic and multi-layered, and another strong, haunting vocal performance displaying the many layers and depths to this exciting band with much to offer. It’s encouraging to hear some of the local Southern accent of the band in ‘Lethargic Lullabies // Chaotic Whispers’, a heavy and brutal song with buckets of energy and a good mix between screamed and sung vocals. With a surprisingly laid back and gentle ending, it’s another track which shows off the complexity of the structures and songwriting.

‘Who I Am // What You Deserve’ gives off some Slipknot vibes at times, then takes stuff in a totally different direction for the middle section, utilising peaks and troughs to build and release tension with the listener, as well as showing off some talented clean vocals. Ending on ‘False Shepherd // Faithful Sinner’ is an inspired choice. The track starts off quiet and dramatic, building up with some cascading, pounding drums and warm guitars before kicking in with the vocals. A more traditional post-hardcore sound is available here, and it’s probably the quietest, prettiest song on the record. If this was a full length, it would be a suitable middle track but here it serves well as the finale to this collection of five songs. It’s full of tension and excitement, and basically combines everything the band have showcased their ability to do over the course of this EP within one song.

To release something this epic and complex this early on in their career is quite a feat and without doubt Sidelines have a massive and exciting future ahead of them. If this is what they can do on one EP, it’s insane to think what they’d do on a full length, which will hopefully come sooner rather than later. These guys have so much to offer.

 

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