Album Review: Create to Inspire – Halfway Home EP

It is difficult to believe that Create to Inspire’s new EP ‘Halfway Home’ is a debut. With its clean and careful production, this EP is certain to gain the band a loyal following.

The ‘Halfway Home’ EP opens abruptly with the fast-paced and often chaotic track, ‘In Light’. It quickly becomes apparent that the verses are constructed as dark and heavy elements of the song, whereas the choruses offer some relief as they are cleaner and more melodic, displaying the versatility and talent of this band. The contrast of the heaviness of the verse and the melodic sound of the chorus gives weight and meaning to the lyrics of the verses, particularly as Sean Midson’s raw vocals soon break through to the forefront of the mix. Thereafter, ‘In Light’ seems to become more personal, though the dark, frustrated tone of the first verse is sustained. While precise, carefully-considered layering is pleasing throughout, this is a track bursting with contrasts; further into ‘In Light’, Create to Inspire craft an impressive contrast between raw, background vocals and the cleaner sounds of the front man Midson. Though the first track of the EP began suddenly and powerfully, ‘In Light’ fades out without a noticeable conclusion, giving the whole piece a coherent and continuous feel.

The eponymous track of the EP, ‘Halfway Home’, has been referred to by Create to Inspire as more of a statement than a song, representing strong, unbreakable familial bonds. The first lyric of the piece, “I need to be alone to learn from my mistakes”, indeed introduces ‘Halfway Home’ as a statement that has a personal resonance. Fast-paced, energetic drums push the track forwards, though it quickly dissipates into a more melodic sound, in keeping with the sentimentality of the song as its themes include family and love. One of the most striking aspects of ‘Halfway Home’ is its strong sense of balance, as clean melody is well-balanced with the more traditional heaviness of this EP’s songs. Another of the track’s lyrics, “you’ll always be there by my side”, reminds the listener that this is a track with emotional importance. However, again, this sentimentality is balanced by rapidly changing paces, ensuring that this is a notably versatile record. ‘Halfway Home’ concludes with an abrupt, unexpected ending alike that of ‘In Light’.

‘Foundations’ quickly follows on from ‘Halfway Home’ with a strongly rhythmic sound. At first, it does not seem to have the same versatility as the other tracks on the EP, but it quickly becomes more interesting as Create to Inspire again experiment with pace, transitions and vocals. Sean Midson’s searing vocals are briefly pushed back from the main mix, showcasing the band’s talent for layering and switching between different elements. The lyrics of ‘Halfway Home’ feature a lot of repetition, for example as Midson screams “I’m searching, searching, searching for myself”, giving ‘Foundations’ a potent sense of desperation and longing. In this case, ‘Foundations’ fades out into the final track of the EP, ‘Shatter Rebuild’, perhaps implying that Create to Inspire find some consolation at the close of the fourth track.

Create to Inspire’s new EP is as good as the work of established hardcore bands. Although it may not be as original as some listeners would like, the hardcore community can definitely expect a lot from this Essex quintet in the future.


‘Halfway Home’ EP by Create to Inspire is out now.

Create to Inspire links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by George Isaacs (@TryGeorgeIsaacs)


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