Released today is a 4 track EP by a band I had not heard of before, going by the name of Changes. Hailing from New Jersey, USA, this band proffers a slow to mid tempo hardcore sound with definite slow doom influences in parts. It’s an interesting mixture – normally at Rip It Up we cover hardcore bands OR doom style bands, rarely the two together in one band. It is I suppose the musical equivalent of mixing oil and water, without wanting to get too Derek Smalls reflecting with a pipe in his mouth about it. But strangely, the combination works.
The EP is, in the round, an outing in the heavy-ish hardcore style, but pleasingly without the sadly de-rigeur screaming vocals. That in itself is a good thing; I have remarked before that I am becoming less and less tolerant of hearing bands with a lead singer whose vocal style suggests that he is taking a shit the size of a basketball whilst being extensively bitten by a weapon dog at the same time. Vocalist Shawn Zappo has a good voice and uses it in a gruff but controlled way. Changes aren’t afraid to bring a bit of the blues to the party either; ‘Like Northern Swells‘ cuts the same kind of path as bands like the excellent The Disease Concept, for example. ‘Black Blood’ on the other hand takes us off in a pure hardcore direction, with nothing but pared down metallic riffing and fast/slow parts. The variation in style keeps the EP interesting throughout. And it has cohesion – a difficult thing to achieve when using so many seemingly disparate styles.
This EP is on Bandcamp at the moment and the free downloads are available but limited to 200, so move fast and pick this up; it is apparently a precursor to a full LP of original studio material that Changes are doing for later in the year.