SOFTSPOKEN – PATHWAYS (EP REVIEW)

Before we begin

Softspoken is a five piece post-hardcore band from Florence, Kentucky. Consisting of Sam Scheuer on vocals, Chris Wethington on guitar, Billy Zimpleman also on guitar, Garrett Harper on bass, and Myka Meeks on drums. Additionally Logan Combs and Zach Payne contributed vocals and drums on the ep respectively. I have personally been astonished by the live performers that these guys deliver multiple times and have had many conversions with band members. So I am predisposed to having a putative bias towards this ep but I will attempt to remain as moderate as possible for this review. With that out of the way let’s jump right into this.

Track by track

Track 1 – Wanderer 03:49

This is very much your traditional post-hardcore song. That isn’t inherently bad but it does feel uncreative. While the track does follow the expected formula it still provides a healthy dose of energy getting the listener pumped up and energetic. But it’s Sam’s vocal performance that gives this song and ep an edge. Sam’s voice comes across as softer and more pleasant than the expected high pitch gruff voices that we’ve come to expect from this subgenre. But that doesn’t come free because his voice is softer he does sacrifice some of the power that other bands in this genre possess.

Overall rating – 6.5/10

Track 2 – something I’m missing 03:31

The track opens with the expected fast paced instrumentals and emotional vocals; it was at this point I began to fear that it was going to turn into another run of the mill post-hardcore song but boy was I mistaken. While this song doesn’t do anything revolutionary it prefects the techniques and tropes of their genre. It’s truly the insanely catchy chorus that saves this song, turning it from a boring cookie cutter track too a stupidly fun emotional jam.

Overall rating – 8.5/10

Track 3 – fix myself 03:43

Now this is where we see Softspoken become the next generation of post-hardcore. This song opens with a really interesting riff that leads to the same paced instrumental and vocals we expected. But that’s when it changes switching to a softer part with some really spectacular vocal melodies. Before returning to the post-hardcore chorus which doesn’t feel repetitive at all because of the beginning of the song being so much different. This is the post-hardcore that I love. Taking the building blocks of old and adding depth and new ideas it’s a breath of fresh air and it makes me so excited to see what these guys do in the future.

Overall rating – 10/10

Track 4 – i feel fire 03:40

This is yet another track where we see Softspoken push the post-hardcore genre a little bit further. It opens with a heavy intro then expected which is welcomed with open arms. It also continues to a softer part but this time the transition doesn’t feel as impactful or crisp as on the previous track. The chorus isn’t anything special but that’s not a bad thing it just isn’t as catchy or memorable as other chorus’s on this ep. The addition of a second vocalist and more powerful harsh vocals is also a pleasant surprise.

Overall rating – 7/10

Track 5 – close to me 04:14

*warning exploitive is used in following passage*

The only way I can describe this song is an emotional fucking anthem. This is sonically, lyrically, and emotionally this is the deepest song in this band’s  discography. And it’s awesome and not just in the general sense of awesome like genuinely. It opens with a simple guitar and violin then the track continues to add layers all the way too two minutes and thirty five seconds where it climaxes and holds that energy through the remainder of the song. Vocally this is one of the most emotional and powerful performance we have ever seen this band pull off.

Overall rating – 10/10

Final verdict

This ep is a fantastic debut from a band that is sure to explode. While some of the tracks come across as cookie cutter the others are near masterpieces and breath life into a stagnant genre. I highly recommended buying this ep and checking it out for yourself.

Final score – 8.5/10

Favorite tracks

Close to me

Fix myself

Least favorite tracks

Wanderer

I feel fire

Bands you may also like

Picturesque – https://www.facebook.com/picturesque/

Artica – https://www.facebook.com/articabandky/

Polterguise – https://www.facebook.com/polterguise/

Links

https://www.facebook.com/softspokenmusic/

https://open.spotify.com/album/53XS9VjUkV6eaEK88a3oqf

https://play.google.com/store/music/album?id=B667rcdqat27xvekoeakguwcloi

softspoken

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