EP Review: STALEWORTH – “Covalence”

Staleworth is a five-piece indie band from Long Island, New York who play an intense, yet melodic style of punk/post hardcore rock. The earnest young band followed me on Twitter a while back, and I was so impressed by their fresh sound that I wanted to feature them on my blog. Making the music are Kevin Davis (lead vocals), Brett Baehr (lead guitar), James Mann (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), Ryan Patterson (bass) and Nick Pinzon (drums, though Colin Thorson was drummer when the EP was recorded).

staleworth

The band released their debut EP Covalence in March 2016, and they’re off to a great start. Featuring five solid tracks that flow seamlessly from one to the next, the EP plays like one long rock symphony containing five movements. First up is the ear-splitting “Empty Veins, ” a melodic hard rock anthem that storms out of the gate with shredded and swirling guitars overlying Patterson’s pummeling bass. Muscular percussion sets the driving beat, and Davis’s fervent vocals occasionally turn into raw hardcore screams.  This is a real headbanger!

The high energy levels continue uninterrupted with “Patchwork,” another monumental hard rock track with blistering guitar riffs and thunderous percussion, accompanied by Davis’s impassioned raw vocals. He practically spits the fiery lyrics that speak of lies and deceit: “How could you expect that I wouldn’t question all you do?  Evil smile, blackened eyes, just another point of view / You know I’m not too fond of your intentions. But I don’t think you’ve ever learned your lesson.

Things slow a bit at the beginning of “Moonchild,” with a lovely but rather melancholy guitar solo. The beat ramps back up about a minute into the track, with fast-paced guitars, heavy bass and forceful drums, only to return to a more languid tempo for the last 45 seconds.  The music doesn’t skip a beat as the song transitions to the one minute and 25-second auditory barrage that is the fourth track “Hang Loose.”  Davis screams his lyrics as furious guitars keep pace with a powerful military-style drumbeat.

That song seamlessly flows into the standout final track “Tiger Troubles.” This hard-driving number gradually builds in intensity, blasting through the speakers with bombastic drums and scorching guitar riffs piled atop more riffs, while Davis’s brutal vocals snarl and soar with the music, at times threatening to blow out our eardrums. The result is an awesome hard rock song of great complexity and depth.

If their excellent debut EP is any indication, Staleworth is a talented collective with a promising future. Show these guys support by following them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  Stream their EP on Spotify and purchase it on Bandcamp.

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