Album: The Cycle Of Need
Release Date: 13th July, 2018
Label: Self Released
Review by John
A few years ago it seemed as if Resin’s legacy would be restricted to one (albeit excellent) album, 2013’s ‘Embrace The Fall’.
But, with a few line up changes in place, they returned to give us a taster of their new sound on 2015’s ‘Persecution Complex’ EP and now, almost three years later, and with an interesting new addition to the band, we finally get a full length follow up to ‘Embrace The Fall’. And it is every bit as essential as its predecessor.
From the haunting opening to ‘Never Learn’ it is clear that with the line up now settled, Resin are a band who have spent time polishing and refining their sound, and, rather than rush release the album, have ensured they get it absolutely spot on. ‘Never Learn’ takes the post grunge sound of their earlier releases, but adds a sharper, heavier edge.
The first thing that strikes you is the fact that frontman Dave Gandon has the sort of voice that defined the classic 90s grunge era, with a sound that seems to have been honed on a diet of honey and Marlboro. And then you notice the violin. That’s right. Resin now have strings, in the form of Cadence Noir’s Emma Bennett. It’s a bold move, but one that works well. Never overdone, it blends seamlessly with Resin’s signature style.
The best example of this comes at the start of ‘Monster’ where it helps build a foreboding atmosphere as the track gradually bursts into life and unveils itself as a catchy, gritty number with a bombastic finish and some fine work from guitarists (and the two remaining founder members) Chez and Simon.
‘Shitstorm’ keeps the heavy edge, but adds a bluesier, almost groove style to the sound, while ‘Clouds’ is the first of the re-recorded tracks found on the album. Originally appearing (twice!) on ‘Embrace The Fall’, it is one of Resin’s signature tracks, but here the band have taken things to a whole new level. The original was already laden with emotion and here this is ramped up to beautiful effect, while Bennett’s violin is used perfectly. It is, perhaps, a shining example of just how far Resin have come in the last 5 years.
Another reworked track follows in the shape of ‘Angel’, which originally appeared on the ‘Burn’ single. What is most evident here is just how much Gandon’s vocals bring out in the track. One of my favourite things about the early incarnation of Resin was the remarkable vocal style of former frontman James Botha,but Gandon manages to somehow bring a more haunting quality which stirs genuine emotion in the listener.
But he doesn’t just do emotional, as proved on ‘Burn’, which sees the some of the bands heavier qualities come to the fore on a track which manages to highlight just why there are few bands better at mixing the light and the heavy than Resin.
An ethereal violin leads the listener gently into the reworking of ‘Poison’, a track that is full to the brim with sheer heart-wrenching beauty. This was always my stand out track on ‘Embrace The Fall’ and, again, the decision to rework it was a good one. The violin is used well throughout and adds an extra dimension, while the soaring, almost tear jerking chorus loses none of the impact of the original.
This then flows seamlessly into ‘Open Heart Trauma’ an upbeat, more straight up rock offering that originally appeared ‘Persecution Complex’. With memorable riffs, a singalong chorus and a beat that will have your feet tapping like a bout of restless leg syndrome, it highlights just how much range Resin have as a band.
The album ends with bonus track ‘Blood Of Angels’, a moving acoustic number that give a sharp tug to the heartstrings that you will likely never forget. If this doesn’t come close to bringing a tear to your eye then nothing will.
While it may contain a number of reworkings of older songs, the versions found on ‘The Cycle Of Need’ improve on the originals in every conceivable way and, along with the new tracks on offer, sees an album that raises the bar that they set with their debut half a decade ago.
What is most remarkable is how well the album flows, and the ordering of the tracks could not have been better, with each song appearing to be the natural successor to the last.
Taking the very best of the early 90s Grunge sound and giving it a whole new lease of life, If you still harbour an affection for that era, then this really is the album you need in your life. If the Seattle explosion was happening now, this is the sort of sound that would be at the very forefront of the movement.
It may not be the start of the Leicester Grunge Explosion, but it is a release that you need in your collection
1. Never Learn
8. Open Heart Trauma
9. Blood Of Angels (Bonus Track)
Album pledge campaign coming soon.
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