For many new bands, the purpose of their debut EP is to find their feet on the ground and build a foundation. However for Leeds quintet Values, they’ve gone in with a message as ‘Broken Nation’ is a bold, socially-driven commentary.
From the outset ‘Pros and Cons’ is delivered with fury as the five-piece set a metallic hardcore sound that is reminscent of bands such as Counterparts and The Ghost Inside. As Nathan Baker screams “The truth no one ever knows, only yourself,” Danny Widdowson compliments with twisting guitar harmonies and Ryan Booth (drums) and Jack Bhogal (bass) provide a thunderous rhythm section. It soon gives way to ‘Adrift’, keeping up the rapid energy with sharp guitars and Baker’s venomous vocal delivery.
After another slice of frantic metalcore in the form of ‘Blind Ignorance’, ‘Alone’ offers a brief interlude, allowing Values to showcase their softer side. Nevertheless ‘Denounced’ soon arrives to deliver an almighty slab of monsterous metalcore; stabbing guitars, pounding drums and roaring vocals. Like this EP in general, you can see what Values are trying to do yet stylistically they are trapped in the confines of the genre.
‘Broken Nation’ follows and serves as a call to arms with Baker’s passionate delivery stating “we will stand and unite!”. Combined with the technical and muscular sound, ‘Broken Nation’ aims to become the highlight on here. However, ‘Apart’ takes that spot with its reflective tone showing the band’s musical versatility along the way.
As an overall package, Values have a lot going for them. Consistently powerful with a well-balanced mix of heavy and light elements. Production-wise they’ve pulled off the knack of being raw and, at times, slick in equal measure. As debut EPs go, ‘Broken Nation’ holds plenty of promise; subtly ambitious, effective and on par with their influences. If Values can expand their style beyond the standard metal-infused hardcore sound, then you could be hearing more from them in the future.
‘Broken Nation’ EP by Values is released on February 19th on Ghost Music.
Values links: Facebook
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)