Listening to Sheffield based crew Havelocke will undoubtedly transport you to the start of the millennium when this post-hardcore-meets-emo type of music was all the rage.
While you may think that this sounds like a heavy nostalgia trip, there’s a fair bit to like here on the band’s EP, ‘This Is Havelocke’.
Opener ‘Shudder’ commences with a gentle introduction before exploding into a cacophony of thrash fueled instrumentation and emo-esque vocals. Evoking bands from the early 2000s post-hardcore/emo boom such as Funeral For A Friend, AFI, and My Chemical Romance, both vocally and instrumentally. There’s a decent upbeat nature to the song, and its hooky chorus is likely to remain in your memory long after listening to it.
‘Faceless’ ramps up the attitude further with an incredibly spiteful delivery from vocalist Owen Cousins. Those early Funeral For A Friend comparisons are easy to hear with the band’s sound bordering on the edge of post-hardcore with the odd tinge of emo character, packed with dramatic hooks and mixing clean and harsh vocals together seamlessly.
The production could’ve been better managed in places with everything sounding relatively lo-fi, and the vocals sometimes get a little bit lost amongst the instrumentation. These niggles are most noticeable on ‘Cellar’, which, despite not losing any intensity, dials down the pace a little from what has come before it, and creates a muddy soundscape that is forgettable.
The EP concludes with ‘Gone’, a synth-driven collection of melodic emotiveness and raucous energy with a shift in approach that bodes well for the future of this new band.
There’s nothing too technical here and it has all been done before, but the quality is encouraging and if they can up their production game then this band could well be one to look out for when their debut record drops.
After getting into alternative music during the mid 90s with the rise of nu-metal and pop-punk, I’ve gradually spread my interests far and wide and have a real love for metalcore, prog metal and tech metal. Amongst other things, I am a husband, father of two amazing kids, heavy metal DJ, and video game/book/nerd enthusiast!