First impressions are very important for any band aiming to a make for themselves in the music industry, making the release of melodic hardcore’s I, The Mapmaker debut EP ‘Searching’ an imperative stepping stone for either establishing their intended audience.
Kicking things off with ‘Ghostwalker’, the five-piece waste no time in utilising their strengths, with Nathan Kimber‘s melodically pleasing, clean vocal performance acting as a soothing contrast to the gutting wrenching, emotionally driven screams from frontman, Ash Emery. The call-and-response between the two parts helps the song to be both ear-pleasingly catchy whilst also capturing the raw emotiveness of the track, which is reminiscent to that of an early punk styling.
There’s an excellent display of musicianship throughout this EP, from Josh Graham and Kimber‘s impressive guitar work to a solid and tasteful performance from drummer, Jonny Browning.
However, the most captivating attribute this record holds is its ability to adapt dynamically to evoke multiple emotions, with the two-parter ‘1933’ being a perfect example of that. The first part is heavy and follows the musical expectations set before it from the EP’s opener, whilst the latter takes an ambient turn, with reverberated, clean, picked lead guitar carrying the introduction of the track and providing a nice change of pace and intensity, whilst still providing the visceral emotional impact that the EP’s first half provided.
The use of spoken word motifs is a touch that really adds to the versatility of this band’s sound, with the title-track and closer ‘Searching’ closing with spoken word delivered by a character entitled Ordnance, whom vows to right his wrongs and change his ways. The choice to close in this way not only heightens the extremely personal and raw feel this EP has packed throughout, but also tempts the possibility of a deeper storyline, something that any newly established fan of this band would be more than happy to hear.