REVIEW: CAULFIELD – VANITY

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Reviewed by Meghan Player

The core scene has taken an absolute beating in the last twelve months. I mean that in a good way. Across the board we’ve been treated to some brutal releases, and Sydney post-hardcore five piece, Caulfield are stirring the pot in terms of impressive debuts.

The immediate onslaught of aggressive breakdowns and emphatic screams that shred through your earholes on opener, A Letter To Myself One Year Ago – are downright impressive, kicking the noise up to eleven with each ensuing note.

Building on its counterpart, Sour Grapes expands the albums soundscape, with the guttural growl of Mahan Shishineh being matched in perfect contrast to Andrew Gill‘s melodic singing.

The subtle inclusions of dubstep influenced beats that start to show in Living In The Fear Of Loss give the tracks an extra dimension – layer if you will – from the usual stock-standard hardcore model we’ve become so used to digesting and accepting, before the furious breakdowns of GYST rattle your soul to the core.

Perhaps the greatest shift in style and melody comes from Something From Nothing – a cleaner, but no less punishing track that is sure to become a live set favourite. Not to be outdone, title track and personal favourite Vanity checks all the right boxes. The sound explodes out of your speakers and straight into an onslaught of beautiful noise, before you knocking you to the floor with the anthematic chorus.

However, it’s as the album starts to draw towards the end that the band seem to clutch at straws. Don’t get me wrong; the melodies, the screams, the energy are something to behold – but the repetition of the ‘usual suspects’ starts to prove tiresome – especially for an album that promised so much at the beginning.

Certainly, this one, very small negative does nothing to dampen the initial positive impression of Caulfield.  For a young band to reach such great heights and maturity on a debut is astounding, and something even the most seasoned hardcore bands can struggle with two or three albums into their careers.

While Vanity may not reach the extremely high bar set by the likes of Crossfaith or The Dillinger Escape Plan with their albums released this year, we can all rest assured that the future of hardcore in Australia is in safe hands with these dudes.

[7/10]

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