On Laguna Sunrise‘s official Facebook page, they’re described as “a 6 piece post-metalcore band from Derby, UK”. Now, everything is fine with that statement, apart from the phrase “post-metalcore”. How post-modern do we need to be that there’s a genre with this name? Metal has a thousand subgenres, so we don’t need to add anymore. Anyway, with that semi-rant out of the way, it’s a relief to know that this band have produced a mighty fine mini-album, or EP as they’re more commonly known.
So, we have a sextet, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We all liked Underoath, right? Because of this, it does feel like there’s a hell of a lot going on when we first click play on opening track, ‘Underfoot’. There’s the usual chugging guitars that provide the backdrop while electronic shenanigans fill the gaps as the dual vocals of Nick May and Jay Miller provide an interesting contrast. With all of this going on, you’d be forgiven for thinking that getting lost in the landscape of sound would be easy, but that never happens. If you stick with it, the track stays thoroughly engrossing.
If you like your guitar lines thick and your vocals earth shattering, then the title-track of this EP is definitely for you. Calling it ‘intense’ doesn’t even do it justice, it’s chaotic, slightly mental and, in essence, really enjoyable. It’s quite generic in terms of the overall sound. If you’ve been a fan of metal for any number of years then this stuff isn’t new, but this band just seem like a total blast and the EP transmits a huge amount of energy that makes their live shows seem like a really exciting prospect.
The only real issue that people may have with the release is that the band sound awfully Americanized. This is obviously a hugely common thing, but on a song like ‘In Awe’, the vocals feel quite forced and as if they originate a long way away from Derby and this, even though a small gripe is something which is noticeable.
However, that being said, ‘A Signal Unsure’ really is an EP worth your time. Unlike the title of the release, there’s nothing unsure about this band. They know the sound that they’re trying to achieve and it works for the most part. If the right steps are put in place, this could be the beginning of big things for Laguna Sunrise.
Written by Greg Spencer
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989. | Aspiring freelance pizza eater.