Nashville, Tennessee; not exactly the hardcore central you would expect it to be, yet home to one of the most exciting acts in modern-day hardcore. Dependency, who formed in 2009, have released their debut full-length Love Not Wasted, their first musical outing since their 2010 EP, Convicted.
What started with melodic hardcore and sticking true to your roots, which could be heard on both their first-ever demo and their EP, has evolved into something much more. Dependency decided to blend together punk, groovy rock, (melodic) hardcore and metal with the result being that which is Love Not Wasted.
On Convicted, singer Kyle Fesmire screamed his lungs out as if his life depended on it. Here he still does the same, but it has a more punky edge to it; think Monty from Australian hardcore band Miles Away. This punky edge really shines through on ‘Veteran,’ the third song on the album, which in true hardcore punk fashion is a little over two minutes.
‘Existence’ is a stand out track on the album, simply because the band gets their fifteen seconds of fame on it. Fully instrumental, it manages to impress in its simplicity. Of course, hardcore is not about being overly technical, but as far as melodic hardcore goes, this is one of the best pieces of the year, perhaps because it lacks vocals.
The second half of the album is more energetic, with ‘Existence’ clearly being a bridge between the two parts. Fesmire gives ‘Great Expectations’ a tremendous amount of heart, something that will carry over well on the fans. With ‘Love Not Wasted’ the listener is treated to another instrumental piece, this time featuring some acoustic guitar and a fear that this will usher in another slow part of the album. Thankfully, that is not the case, and the energy still flies. On ‘Allgeory in a Cave’ Fesmire gives a very nostalgia-infused performance with some clean, punky vocals while talking about his childhood.
‘Everything I Once Knew’ closes off Love Not Wasted. Saving the best for last, this is at the same time chaotic and structured. Fesmire and the band give it their all once more. This is one for the live show, as it has a incredible mosh potential. Listed as an album for fans of Modern Life is War and Shai Hulud, these comparisons fall flat. This might have been the case with their previous release, but apart from a few guitar riffs that sound like Shai Hulud, the band sounds more like Strengthen What Remains and With Increase.
The thing that sticks out negatively about this record is the production and mixing. Produced by Chad Wahlbrink (Soil & The Sun, Pomegranate) and mixed by Kim Rosen (Title Fight, Smoke or Fire), it is surprising that the production of this album is so elementary, with the vocals pushed far to the front, with the rest of the band deemed not as important, apart from the two instrumental tracks.
Love Not Wasted will be available from Blood & Ink Records November 27th.
Track list – Love Not Wasted
- Home Sweet Home
- School Work Die
- Heavy Burden
- A Way Out
- Great Expectations
- Love Not Wasted
- Allgeory In A Cave
- Everything I Once Knew
Written by Richard Bos