*Sounds From The Underground*
Genre: Melodic Hardcore
Release Date: 26th June, 2017
The age old punk rock ethos is to do it yourself. Self sufficiency is the key and any other help that comes your way is considered to be a bonus. This ideology appears to have resonated very profoundly with the young Belgian hardcore band Moments. Since their formation in 2011, the Tessenderlo quintet have taken their aggressive, metal-infused hardcore punk music and toured relentlessly to get it to as many eyes and ears as possible across their homeland and the rest of Europe respectively. So far the boys have racked up a pretty decent résumé with some impressive supporting slots for bands such as Bury Tomorrow, While She Sleeps, Our Last Night and Stick To Your Guns to name just a few (as well as a number of festival slots, including Groezrock and Summerblast.
The year 2017 looks to be a prosperous one indeed for the young upstarts as they already have slots booked at some large European festivals including a return to Groezrock as well as a summer European headlining tour. Couple in the fact that the guys have just put the finishing touched to their new EP ‘Outlast’ and you can see why the band are such a hot prospect for the coming year. So what does this new ep have to offer? Well, I will tell you.
‘Outlast’ opens with the track ‘What If’ which begins with a brief introduction of industrial noises before drummer Benjamin Hendrickx counts in the rest of the entourage and they go to work and ‘work’ in this case seems to be as a demolition crew as the bowel-shaking heavy guitar tones and deep bass parts swing like a wrecking ball at high velocity in to the ear drums. The buzz saw riffs, intricate drum work and vocal delivery on show here wouldn’t sound out of place on an album by either Obey The Brave or The Ghost Inside, which during the latter’s absence (the band are still recovering from life changing injuries which were inflicted in a near fatal coach crash in 2015) is a welcome substitute. There is an underlining melody here that works well to counterbalance the heavy, mosh-inciting pits that will no doubt dominate their live performances in the months to come.
The next track on the EP is a personal highlight and goes by the name ‘All It Takes’. The track builds slowly on top of a dirty sounding guitar riff. The drums thud away intermittently before Dries Monsieurs roars into action and leads the way into once again pit-welcoming verse. Moments as a band clearly do not mess around when it comes to getting the most out of their heavy sound. The guitars are tuned low and the drums are hit with some considerable force, it is also important to take in to account just how well this album has been produced and mix to make the delivery on this album come across as clean and crisp as possible without muzzling the tracks and over sterilizing them. As far as the style goes, this song certainly leans more towards Moments’ punk rock influences as for the most part the song relies on chords as opposed to the heavily muted, tremolo picked riffing of the previous track. It is also the first time that we see any clean singing on the release in the form of melodic gang vocals (once again owing to the punk rock element of the band’s influences).
The next two tracks ‘Crossroads’ and ‘Our Faults, Our Failures’ follow the same sort of pattern. Moulding together heavy riffs, plenty of head banging and stage diving moments that will no doubt please the hardcore fans that will no doubt be attending their sweaty club shows in the near future. Guitarists Jeffrey Beutels and Kristof Fransen continue to show their impressive ears for heavy, groove-laden riffs with bassist Gert-Jan Vandervoort welding everything together with his subtle, yet crucial bass lines. This is normally the part of the review where you would find me complaining about a lack of diversity or change in musical direction, but when the songs are crafted in such a superb and enjoyable manor it becomes hard to criticise. As the old English saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
The album closes with arguably its strongest track ‘House Of Habits’ which has an accompanying video that you can find on the band’s page (see the link below). The song once again kicks off at full speed with Monsieur barking aggressively over top of the heavy, yet melodic foundations laid down by his comrades. The pace doesn’t really let up for this track which is just as well because this is where Moments truly come in to their own stylistically with aggression and attitude in spades along with ideas and melody that plenty of bands struggle so much to balance. Towards the latter stages of the song the band throw in a breakdown of seismic proportions that is destined to cause concussions all over Europe when they bring it to the live arena.
With material as strong as this at such an early stage in their career it is exciting to see what Moments have for us next. Expect exciting things to come from these Belgian bruisers.
1. What If
2. All It Takes
4. Our Faults, Our Failures
5. House Of Habits
Total Playing Time: 21:23
Link to the band: