With losing bassist Michael Furoto, Melbourne quintet Drown This City have returned with ‘Alpha // Survivor’. Building on their 2016 debut EP, ‘False Idols’, this second effort by the Australian outfit streamlines their brand of roaring post-hardcore.
Going for the jugular from the get go, the first half of the EP delivers a flurry of guttural growls and snapping double kick patterns amidst soaring clean vocals and melodic guitar interplay. ‘Stay Broken’ creates a claustrophobic run through the expected tropes of the sub-genre, with techniques such as gang vocals and thrash riffs.
Holding the breakneck changes together is vocalist Alex Reade, with her forceful growled delivery and soaring clean vocals. Continuing the momentum is ‘In Your Image’, a track that not only allows Reade to push her performance with percussive hooks and falsetto, but also unfurls a juddering riff for Laurence Appleby and Josh Renjen to play with.
Whilst the group incorporate strong melodies into each composition, as the EP touches upon ‘Null’, the frenetic delivery of the opening tracks is absent. Following on from this, ‘Love Makes Cowards Of Us All’ harnesses raw power, with Appleby and Renjen stamping alongside Reade‘s commanding delivery and bassist Matt Bean‘s underlying groove.
Ending with ‘Void’, the group fly through accent heavy chords, death metal style riffs, and churning breakdowns. Held together by Anthony Dallas‘ crushing drum patterns, the track delivers a driving bounce underneath the defiant refrain of “Only I can break me”.
A well written take on post-hardcore, ‘Alpha // Survivor’ showcases a group that has not only survived through a transitional period, but has managed to push themselves. Faced with playing it safe or pushing their boundaries further, Drown This City have stepped up to create a catchy and memorable release.