Here’s another cassette release that I awaited with anticipation. It popped on my doorstep today thanks to Ugly & Proud Records, a prolific Bulgarian record label. Ugly & Proud Records specializes in all things hardcore, but you may also find some useful vegan straight edge literature if you’re into it. However, this cassette release includes another two record labels, Footloose Records (UK) and Modern Illusion Records (Germany). Therefore the tapes differ in color for each record label, so the Ugly & Proud Records variant comes in transparent smoke grey, while the Footloose Records and Modern Illusion Records come in transparent purple and metallic green shells. After putting all the specs aside, let’s dive into this tremendous EP.
Surrender EP is a debut release by Without Love, a relatively new melodic hardcore from the UK. I have to admit I fell in love with their sound since I spoke with the band via email. Melodic hardcore has always been my go-to genre whenever I needed a bit of aggressive music decorated with cleverly assembled melodies. Without Love are nailing these tunes like pros. Each track carries enormous dosages of aggression and dynamics, while the melodies and harmonies serve as more than necessary contrast. It is an already tested formula that works like a charm every time. You will have a hard time picking your favorite tune, mainly because there aren’t any bad moments included here. Everything sounds top-notch from scratch to finish.
Now, I know what you’re thinking while reading this review. “This specific genre has been explored by so many bands before.” Maybe you’re right, but Without Love thought about it while writing, composing, recording, and producing these tracks. Therefore, their tunes don’t sound similar to any band you heard before. Maybe there are some similar riffs heard in some songs before, but the band fully stacked this material with so many melodic themes that you won’t notice any similarities. Each composition has a perfect structure and arrangements. These qualities, besides other accentuations, perfectly pair to all the ideas band implemented in these songs. The only problem I have with this EP is its length. It maybe lacks a couple of more songs, but after all, it’s short, fast, cleverly assembled music, so it’s not big of a deal. Honestly, I cannot wait to hear what the band will come up with after this impressive EP. Surrender EP is available at Ugly & Proud Records, Footloose Records, and Modern Illusion Records. A highly recommended release for all true fans of melodic hardcore.