Icantdie Live Up To High Expectations On Debut
Bridgend three-piece Icantdie have a lot to live up to. Their line-up contains two members of the now-defunct (and excellent) Caesar's Rome, and new EP, 'Transition/Merger', was recorded with ex-Funeral For A Friend guitarist Gav Burrough. The bar set by this Welsh rock pedigree is certainly high, but it is a height that the trio frequently reach on 'Transition/Merger'.
When the strummed chords of quiet opening track 'Transition' have faded out and you've been thrust into the maelstrom of lead single 'Merger', two things immediately become apparent. First of all, this is a very different beast to Caesar's Rome. Yes, the songwriting ability is still there, but gone are the textural slow-burners and the widescreen choruses, replaced instead with devastating riffs and aggression. Secondly, this band sound MASSIVE. They make a lot of noise for a three-piece, and while it's yet to be seen if this is testament to the band's ability or Burrough's studio trickery, it's rare that a debut EP has this much depth.
'Merger' is a riotous example of everything Icantdie do best, from the discordant opening riff to the Every Time I Die-esque breakdown that ends the track. The following track 'Charlie Kelly' contains hints of Reuben in its desperately screamed vocals, and closer 'Golgothan' finishes with a heady, expansive outro at odds with its angular stop-start riffing. There are moments through the EP that feel a bit stock, but despite this, 'Transition/Merger' is still a highly accomplished, satisfying listen.
Icantdie aren't reinventing the wheel on their debut EP, but they don't need to; 'Transition/Merger' is a well-crafted, well-produced record. If the band can recreate the sound, aggression and mood of this record live, they're onto a winner.