Whilst Manchester hardcore rockers Oaths‘ debut EP ‘Stag Party’ is a varied, genre-hopping 20 minutes with some biting riffs and catchy hooks, with only 5 tracks you can’t help but feel that it lacks a bit of focus. Whilst Oaths hop from barely contained fury to singalong refrains with ease, it somewhat fails to flow in the short-form format.
Though ‘Idols//Rivals’ and ‘Hank Moody’ do have their share of riffs and hooks, they both feel a bit overlong and fail to fully develop their promise. Some sections meander aimlessly, and more selective editing here could have produced much more effective tracks.
To somewhat hammer the point home, ‘Lover, Another’ and ‘Amsterdam’ provide much sharper, slicker tracks, managing to maintain more energy and a better balance of riffs and melody without ever losing focus. The riffing 3 minutes into ‘Amsterdam’ may just be the EP’s standout moment.
Sonically, Oaths have a great sound; the production strikes a great balance between between rawness and clarity. Layers of guitars add texture and don’t overpower the mix.
Overall, ‘Stag Party’ is certainly a good debut and, with their sound and riffing and melodic abilities, Oaths have a great foundation to build on as they hone their craft for future releases.
Written by Sean Richardson