Reviewed by Bec Hennessy
IRIS are a UK four piece that have been around since 2009. The ‘Out of Fiction’ EP is their first release, and my first introduction to them. It’s full of catchy pop punk/rock. Those aching strained vocals and punchy guitars. They mix it up a bit, with some hardcore vocals and a lot of tempo changes. That kind of work and kind of don’t. I think they do it best when they keep it simple.
‘Out of Fiction’ fades in all fuzzy and warm guitars, despite the slight sneer in the vocals riding the splash of cymbals. The chorus vocals are catchy and pretty decrying “A miracle won’t ever come for me”. Later whoa whoa’s trade place with some muted screams. It ends with about 55 seconds of fade out I could have done without. ‘Your Sacrifice’ is more up beat pop punk guitars and vocals, broken up with a shouted interlude. But again the outro ruins what could be a nice punchy song.
‘The Shade’ melts my frustration slightly. A pretty guitar arpeggio and stripped back grungy vocals, get my interest. I was initially not entirely sure about the echoing guitar solo, but the vocals keep my attention and by the end it seemed to work. The chorus crashes in picking up the pace with a wall of distortion. Lyrically it’s pop punk territory ‘Don’t be afraid to come out the shade, you beautiful girl. If this is goodbye then blind both my eyes ‘cause I might not need to see again’.
‘Lie for Me’ is a joy, possibly my favourite. Heavier riffs (do I hear a rogue double kick?) contemptuous vocals (I hear Phil Jamieson ala Grinspoon). The chorus is droning yet melodic. A bit of a breakdown and screams, showing some more hardcore tendencies.
They end with an acoustic song ‘Thicker than Water’. Which I approached with some cynicism, thinking I could see a ‘hey let’s put a token acoustic track on here’ coming. It’s bare, letting the vocals shine through, which is what wins me over. Pretty, aching harmonies a nice finish.