Random Frequency, formerly known as Common Bred Trigger, are a Belfast based four piece who’s latest EP, “Emperor” has received regular airplay on BBC Radio Ulster’s “Across The Line” since it’s release in January. Drawing influence from bands such as Nirvana, Biffy Clyro, Sonic Youth and Husker Du, they are already making tracks within the local music scene, but in the context of such a formidable list of musical powers, does “Emperor” live up to the hype?
The title track, ‘Emperor’, begins the EP. With brilliant, almost cryptic Pavement style lyrics contrasted with both sludgy and biting bass, melodic Cobain-esque vocals, layered crunching guitar and steady pounding drums, it’s a rather formidable opener, packed with more than enough punch to guarantee that it will stay stuck in your head long after the initial listen.
‘Middle Ground’ however, is quite a different story. Although it is perfectly understandable that a band are going to want to show off their ability to experiment with various tempos, I’m afraid it suffers from what I’m going to dub as “Second Track Syndrome”- quite simply, while there is absolutely nothing wrong as such with this song, it is just a bit too self indulgent to be remembered as anything other than just good enough.
Thankfully though, things seem to quickly return to their formerly promising precedent courtesy of ‘Decipher’. Vaguely reminiscent of Silverchair, it is full of edgy, hook heavy, chugging dual guitar work, layered canorous vocals and even further proof that the rhythm section of bass and drums are quite a force to be reckoned with, this is certainly worth a listen or ten.
‘Here To Doubt’ contains all the band’s signature trademark qualities, yet contains tones more commonly found in melodic metal. Almost reminiscent of Alter Bridge in places, it’s a rather strange track as it dives between nu metal style guitar work with soaring vocals and then more punk influenced metal. It is rather effective though, with it’s clawing riffs and powerful, nearly industrial sounding choruses, it’s quite an impressive track, especially when it is quite a contrast to what has previously been exhibited as their signature sound.
‘Pictures and Places’ closes the EP on a gentler note. With resolute, stripped down guitar work and softer, pared down vocals, it could easily be mistaken for a B-side from “In Utero”. The almost acoustic approach is very successful in fulfilling it’s intention, which is to sufficiently showcase the band’s diversity as musicians. It is without a doubt very refreshing to see a band experiment with such a variation of styles, all while maintaining their own unique style.
Random Frequency come across as a band, who while still at a relatively early stage in their career, have a definitive idea of what they want to do, who are not afraid to try to incorporate elements from different subgenres of rock into their music and all while ensuring their distinctive style is audible throughout. A thoroughly impressive EP, I’m personally looking forward to hearing more from Random Frequency in the- hopefully- not so distant future.
◀ STANDOUT ⁞ Emperor ▶
◀ SOUNDS LIKE ⁞ Biffy Clyro | Nirvana ▶