Each modern young hardcore band, surrounded by a current thriving global scene with myriad artists good and bad to respectively take inspiration from or ignore, can be considered lucky in terms of from whom to take their cues. This sees Stourbridge-based four-piece Spearmint 6 take a respectable footing somewhere between Gallows and Touché Amoré on their debut Cold Metal Basket EP, and that’s no bad thing. What difficulties lay ahead for bands who choose to wear their influences so loudly on their sleeves however, is developing a sound that makes you remarkably different.
Glimpses of this appear in places on the young band’s EP, such as the ‘Heart-Shaped Box’-inspired build-up in the intro of its title track, which leads into a powerful plodding hardcore chorus. ‘Chaucer’, meanwhile, grabs the listener with a grungy punk riff and pulls them into the pit with a fast and brutal rhythm section. Unfortunately, however, with lines like “We burn the houses before they’re built / We clean the blood before it’s spilt”, you can’t help but feel that the song could’ve been an outtake from Grey Britain.
Such lyrics can be found throughout the record, covering the well-trodden ground of social frustration and emotional destitution. It doesn’t tire though, as singer and guitarist Adam Barker’s admirable delivery makes the music as a whole no less engaging.
Points should also be given to Spearmint 6 for including a near-eight-minute track on a debut hardcore EP, an ambitious move; ‘Gamma Knife’ makes good use of dynamics and tension to turn a song largely repetitive in content into a powerful slow-burner. It’s also here that the band display a disctinct dexterity at making the most out of the sonic depth available to them, something especially commendable given the budget recording.
And it’s herein where Spearmint 6’s future quandary lies. The group are clearly talented and more than adept with the material they’re handling, it’s simply that until that material finds a stronger voice more independent of its influences, they’ll fail to turn quite enough heads. But who knows? It may just be a matter of time.
Rated 7 out of 10