Culture Wars - Culture Wars EP
Review by Shannon Shumaker
Culture Wars’ debut self-titled EP is one of the most unique releases of 2017. Although it is only five songs in length, the EP is filled to the brim with hard hitting, catchy 80’s influenced synth rock songs that will easily set the band apart from the pack. In a genre that is constantly growing and admittedly becoming a bit oversaturated with new artists, Culture Wars stand out with these five songs.
“Lies” is the pounding, hit you right in the chest intro track. The first few things you’ll notice about this song are the hard hitting drums and deep bass, which serve as a driving force for not only “Lies” but much of the EP. And just when you think this song couldn’t get any better, it does. What starts with stomping drum and bass quickly transitions to hook-laden guitar and synth, followed by stunning vocal harmonies. By the time the second chorus comes in, you’ll be singing along.
Second song, “Bones” feeds right off of the energy established by “Lies” but it definitely doesn’t feel stagnant or too similar. Deep bass, synth and drums are the forefront of this darker track. The twinkly, bright chorus balances out the haunting verses, making for a very well balanced listen. Then comes “Money (Gimme Gimme),” which almost feels like a perfect blend of a more timeless Nine Inch Nails sound with Royal Blood. It’s the perfect progression in sound as the EP continues to chug forward.
Each coming song is simply hit after hit. There isn’t a single down moment on the EP, which can tends to be a common struggle for synth-driven pop/rock artists. Where a lot of artists fall flat when it comes to creating something that is both hard hitting and catchy, Culture Wars excel and then some. And on top of that, they’ve managed to create a very diverse release. Where the first three songs are on the darker, moodier side, fourth track, “Hideaway” is poppy and bright, spearheaded by soaring, gritty vocals. “Delilah (Take Me Away)” then showcases a much brighter and more upbeat side of Culture Wars before the end, promising more dynamic releases for the future.
Within five songs, Culture Wars not only establish a strong, unique sound but also successfully branch out of their comfort zone. Although stomping drums and stunning vocals definitely tie all of these songs together to make the EP feel cohesive, each track is strong for its own unique reason. If this is what Culture Wars can do with an EP, then the synth rock world better start preparing for one hell of a full-length in the future.
LISTEN TO "Bones" or "Hideaway"
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