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Audio Cynic - 'Vol.1' EP Review


1. Let's Run

2. I'm Not Cruel / You're Not Alone

3. No One

4. Second Nature

I've long been able to appreciate a great two piece band, after all, it's an arrangement with some fantastic provenance, bands that leap to my mind are Local H, Royal Blood, The White Stripes, and there are probably a lot more of them too, although I did feel like there was a vague sense of "Therapy?" when I listened to Audio Cynic (a Scottish duo of Guitar and drums making impressive use of looping technology to thicken up their live sound) but it was a passing aural flirtation, nothing more the bands don't sound all that similar, and there's certainly plenty of originality on show from Audio Cynic making comparing them to any other band thoroughly unnecessary. I was pleased that there was no Hardcore screaming here, instead we have a decent singer some great riffing and a lot of my "blind" first listen being taken up questioning whether or not I was listening to a quartet of bass, drums and two guitars, with one of them singing, so kudos to the pair, they fooled my ears into thinking there were more of them. But what of the music... what of the EP (evidently this release has been around since 2016, so check it out at your leisure), this is a well crafted tightly structured affair (it would have to be if it were to be reproduced live with looping pedals), with a lot to offer the casual listener, better yet the whole thing is concise, there seems to be no bloating here, no overdone instrumental passages with excessive guitar solo histrionics, although only one track (opener "Let's Run") clocks in under the 5 minute mark and half the tracks clock in over 7 minutes in length none of the songs overstay their welcome at all. The tunes flow through a number of tempo shifts and musical twists and turns showing a consistent ability in this band to hold a listener's attention, the second track is a medley of two songs "I'm Not Cruel" and "You're Not Alone" with a transition midway through taking us from one to the other, the second of these builds in a thoroughly satisfying way to an instrumental crescendo before falling back to a more subdued ending. Meanwhile structurally the beginning of "No One" feels like it nods to early Metallica with a picked acoustic part kicking into a journey through two rather excellent riffs before dropping back to create space for the vocals, whether this was intentional or not is irrelevant as it is very effective. To sum up Audio Cynic are definitely a band worth checking out and if there's something new on the horizon from them I for one will be keeping an eye open for it.

Review - Mike McLaughlin

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