Leeds melodic hardcore outfit Values have spent less than a year being a band, yet they’ve already crafted together their debut EP, ‘Broken Nation’. The five-piece showcase both the lighter and heavier elements of this sub-genre to superb effect throughout this release, and demonstrate a maturity larger than their formative period of time.
The EP goes straight into full stride with ‘Pros And Cons’ tempering a metallic hardcore edge that flirts between the aggressive to the emotive, before next track ‘Adrift’ kicks in, highlighting a beautiful flurry of plucked guitar notes from the outset until a crushing breakdown rips apart the sonic calmness halfway through. Flirting around galloping riffs and frenetic drumming, the track in its entirety has pretty much everything you could wish for if you’re a fan of bands such as The Ghost Inside or Counterparts.
‘Alone’ changes the dynamic completely with pure melodic instrumentalism and a near acoustic guitar tinkling in the background, creating a soothing layer of calm for the listener. It doesn’t take too long for the pace to ramp up again however, with ‘Broken Nation’ deploying superbly technical guitar riffs coupled with the most passionate vocal performance on the EP. Cited as being the “heart of the message of the EP” by the band, the lyrics are very thought felt, quoting “We are the victims”, implying that the country needs to be taken back and controlled by them.
For an initial effort, Values have shown a lot of promise here. The production on the EP is superb with an adequate layer of polish that doesn’t detract too much from the rawness that the band seem to want to promote, even sounding quite atmospheric in places. Equal parts visceral, punishing, emotive, and heart-warming, the blend of these characteristics has been brilliantly put together. With a little more work, Values should be a band to take note of in the next few years.
Written by Neil Criddle (@DJCriddz)