wars – As Within / / / So Without (A Wolf At Your Door Records)

An EP named after a quote from the Greek god Hermes is always going to contain its fair share of musing and philosophies, and as this is wars, they’re always going to be packaged inside Rob Vicars’ buzzsaw voice and a certain brutality.

But for a band so grounded and based on pure visceral noise, they’re at their complete best when they let their breakdowns do the work for them. This band are so intense, so full of noise, that sometimes the absence of it is the most compelling.

And that’s not a Roman Keating style way of asking them to shut it in the nicest possible way, it’s more on observation of how wars use sound. When wars combine the intensity of their noise, the raw power of Vicars’ voice and a neck snapping breakdown come together to create something irresistible.

That’s why Hills and Boulders was the best song on their 10/10 Rushonrock rated debut album We Are Islands, After All and it’s why On Being More is a strong contender for that claim on the EP.

As Within / / / So Without is about the nagging existential doubt that some humans are forced to endure. In A Mirror, Dimly is all about this – and you can tell why it was chosen as the lead single from the EP.

There are a lot of complex arrangements and themes in this tune, and it deserves a close listen to make sure it doesn’t all go over your head. But it’s worth it, especially the last 20 seconds and all their pulsating, angry, aggressive glory.

After producing their debut with Spinefarm Records, the boys from Rugby have moved to a different label. A big move? Well, maybe. But not much has changed with their sound and that’s to be celebrated.