ALWAYS THE QUIET ONES
Upon first glance, Always The Quiet Ones look like they have something very interesting to offer, their image – Kiss/Alice Cooper/almost-black metal/circus face paint and the appropriate grimaces – and EP artwork are both compelling. Yet if ever a mismatch there was, this is it. The image suits the EP title but in no way matches the music as what is contained within are three alternative rock songs that depend on musical clichés and formulaic structures with little in the way of surprise. The reviews on the band’s Facebook page make this EP out to be of such creative innovation that music will never be the same again (but then again, don’t all reviews selected by bands?). But there is little to be found that “rips up the rule book”, brings “a darker side to rock”, or once “transcends the basic conventions of genre”. From those reviews, there is one thing that can be agreed and that is that Always The Quiet Ones do indeed have a “thoroughly contemporary sound” in that it is as agonisingly predictable as most music out there.
Opener ‘Sign Of The Times’ is by far the best track here with a compellingly melodic vocal line and catchy chorus over a well-structured though formulaic song. The bland ‘Valentina’ drags the EP down as after a poor intro it fails to lift off at any point, wallowing in simple dynamics, banal melodies, and thankfully forgettable lyrics. The title track fails to impress, the repetition of the word “desire” becomes increasingly annoying, particularly as there’s not even the most minor of variations in its delivery. It could easily be a Pro Tools cut+paste job. Yet for the chorus, the music is the most exciting part of the EP, as is the solo (and matches the EP’s image for the first time). Had the track – and the rest of the EP for that matter – been along these lines, it would’ve been outstanding as Barragan’s voice shines – as does the band – when at its heaviest.
The performances across the EP are fine and demonstrate an equally fine level of musicianship and the tracks are heavy and melodic with some catchy choruses, but it doesn’t stand up as anything as grand, innovative, or even as promising as the ill-chosen visual aspect of the band. Always The Quiet Ones should get rid of the gimmicky image and concentrate on the music, because it’s obvious that’s what they’re good at, that is, when they focus.
Review by Jason Guest
5th March 2012
1) Sign of the Times
3) Freak Show
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...the tracks are heavy and melodic with some catchy choruses, but it doesn’t stand up as anything as grand, innovative, or even as promising as the ill-chosen visual aspect of the band."