Of All The People That I’ve Left … is a short tale of two lovers beset by mental illness and its fatal manifestations, set to the soundtrack of a brand of emotional hardcore that has been simmering in the underground for several years now- a sub-genre where the band’s often fractured and conflicted emotional states are held unashamedly aloft to be ultimately turned into cute little Tumblr memes for all the kids born too late for the floppy fringed emo explosion to cry over in the comfort of their bedrooms. For a group of hardcore lads still trying to rid themselves of the last vestiges of teenage awkwardness it is commendable that they are so clearly unperturbed by such a prickly and sensitive subject matter as mental illness- especially when many groups of a similar age are still content with songs detailing cliché ridden cautionary encounters with members of the female sex.
A single stark guitar introduces the E.P’s first track ‘Captive’, soon joined by the equally stark cries of vocalist John James and the eventual explosive entry of the remaining band members- segueing into the propulsive ‘Growth Forever’. Comprised of some inventive arpegiated guitar work the track culminates in a decidedly bouncy pop-punk style breakdown that seems to have been thrown in with an eye towards crowd involvement in the sweaty little clubs that the band have become aquainted with. ‘Seven Years’ kicks off in the upper reaches of the drummer’s beats-per-minute capabilities, but despite its breakneck speed and swift tempo changes it forms the least standout track on the record. That position is held by ‘For Sharks’, a rollicking four minutes of mid-“naughties” post-hardcore guitar throwbacks in all their fiddly melodically inflicted glory. Close your eyes and you’ll be transported back to 2005, where ‘For Sharks’ pogo-ready intro could easily be mistaken for a new Hell Is For Heroes single. Stark guitar arpeggios make an appearance in the track’s mid-section lull, gathering breath for the stomping finale amid cries of “There is no future here!”
Weathered Hands, belying their youth through obvious dexterity with their respective instruments, have crafted a well-rounded little record which although barely pushing past ten minutes in length manages to eschew an awareness of dynamics that makes Of All The People That I’ve Left … a rewarding listen. Transcending hardcore’s traditionally one-dimensional outbursts, the band are brimming with the potential to create some truly affecting and enjoyable hardcore tunes.
3.5 out of 5 high fives!