Independent outlook /// I’ll Stay In Memphis ‘Faultline’ [EP] 2012

I'll Stay In Memphis FaultlineTry being a post-hardcore act today. On the one hand it can be ridiculously easy with so many fine examples right in front of you, but on the other, how not to turn into a grey mass in the genre with such tight a competition? I’ll Stay In Memphis stick to the golden middle of quality with very high standards of making music without any tinsel, which makes so many songs sound generic and artificial.  At the very beginning of 2012 I’ll Stay In Memphis released their debut EP ‘Faultline’. Laden with shattering chords and  ambient sound spiced up by rumbling heaviness, ‘Faultline’ sets the bar very high at the up-and-coming melodic post-hardcore scene of the UK.

Tight melody has a varied battle of lyrical vs brutal structures and the sequence of these is just right and way too unexpected at times. Take the ‘Faultline’ opener ‘Wreckage’ as an example. The track takes off with haunting, threatening introduction, then hits hard with heaviness and closer to the end is adorned with such a calm, lyrical and beautiful refrain, that it’s pure surprise how this kind of transition can be performed so seamlessly at all. With creativity I’ll Stay In Memphis introduce interesting features in their songs – the move that clearly shows the band’s attention to details which make a shining contribution to the overall sound. There are places where guitars – clear and chilly – break free and the sound they produce makes a firm statement. And how about some acoustic droplets? ‘Fractures’ has it all and, of course, huge intensity and stormy domination. But then al of a sudden I’ll Stay In Memphis turn towards a more reflective and still very powerful, gripping side on ‘(in)Desolation’ – viscous, dramatically intense, impressive. The logical continuation of this mood switch is reflected in ‘Interlude’ – acoustic-driven, multi-layered track with smokey screams. This exquisitely-crafted passage leads to the second part of stormy heaviness beginning with ‘(in)Sleep’ – the embodiment of all the upsides I’ll Stay In Memphis have to offer: emotional involvement, might and an oasis of unexpected calmness among the raging storm. I’ll Stay In Memphis are unbeatable in seamless tone changes and though abrupt they are, they don’t seem out of place or forced. Haunting, ghostly atmosphere of suspense is just the best way to wind up the EP and that’s exactly how the title track ‘Faultline’ begins, but this start is deceptive, as soon you’ll be treated to I’ll Stay In Memphis’s signature harshness so that you don’t forget what you’ve just heard and how it has been.

Another special point of the EP is the duo of vocals. Severe growls and screams are impressive enough, as well as thunderous – just the way they should be done without any hysterical whines. And the cleans… The cleans are divine and are obviously designed to send chills down one’s spine, which, with the contrast to all the harshness, becomes a pure sonic pleasure.

‘Faultline’ from I’ll Stay In Memphis is a rare case of a record with no fillers: all the six tracks stand out, shine and are remarkable on their own, all of them easily deserve to be called real bangers. With this EP I’ll Stay In Memphis have made a solid fundament for themselves – a good place to start, and then propel onto a new, exciting level.

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