From Afar are apparently strangers to correct punctuation. Their short and sweet EP Atheoryforyou is testament to that (although it appears, thanks to Facebook, that their actual band name has had a necessary space injected into it). Thankfully, Atheoryforyou is more significant than just grammatical error. A thrilling tribute to the post-hardcore scene of the early 2000s, From Afar have confidence and killer riffs abound.
Opening track Rome is certainly reminiscent of early Finch meeting up with The Fall Of Troy for shots and falling on the floor of a bar operated by Funeral For A Friend. Vocalist Lance immediately sets himself up as the major highlight of the EP – his voice has excellent tone and range, as well as being far more powerful than most in the genre. The slower sections of the track are most impressive, possessing a beautiful melody, but the growled interjections carry a feeling of rising anger and a notion of greater depth. It’s certainly a brilliant start to the EP and perhaps the most impressive track the band have to offer so far.
Burning Trees is far less impressive than its predecessor. It opens with a more dischordant riff, which jars slightly. There is far less of a feeling of technical control in Burning Trees, which begins to feel like two separate songs midway through. There are certainly effective elements – each growled verse is crushing and the clean chorus is one of the powerful parts of the EP – but it confounds more than illuminates. That said, the breakdown at the end is positively bloodcurdling.
Bastard Son brings the EP back on track though. It possesses the complexity that Burning Trees has but utilises it far better. The middle instrumental section is deceptively sedate before throwing itself wholeheartedly into a crushing chorus of ‘bastard son!’. Indeed, Bastard Son potentially shows off From Afar’s musical prowess best as they knit together high-octane riffs and echoing, atmospheric chords with ease. Building up to a damning crescendo, the EP ends on a triumph.
From Afar are definitely one to watch. While the release isn’t quite perfect yet, there’s a huge amount of potential here because the parts that do work are positively explosive.
3.5 out of 5 high fives!