Everything I’ve Ever Feared
Dog Knights Productions
08 April 2013
by Ollie Connors
As soon as you press play on Grappler’s new record Everything I’ve Ever Feared, it becomes immediately apparent that intensity is the ordure du jour. ‘The Best Have Formed A Crown’ raises the curtain dramatically with a sheer wall of jagged, nerve-wracking instrumentation, before vocalist Jon’s throat-stripping vocals take hold. This London (via Leeds and Grenoble) quintet have carved out quite the reputation for themselves through tireless gigging and a blistering live act, and this six track follow-up to 2011’s Callow looks set to spread the word even further.
The band have secured a formidable list of names behind this record; released on Brighton’s Dog Knights Productions, recorded with the semi-legendary UK hardcore producer Lewis Johns, and mastered by Alan Douches (Google his credits and your jaw may just hit the ground), but will their faith be restored with the results? Right from the word go; undoubtedly.
Expansive, unsettling and brooding, the band have combined the worlds of melodic post-hardcore and post-rock, melding them into a tantalising presence of both angst and beauty. Take ‘Edward’ for instance; a maelstrom of blistering guitars and monolithic drums begin this 5 minute centrepiece to the record, descending into hails of feedback and building into a spectacular finishing flourish. Don’t think for a minute this is all slow-burning epics though; ‘Panacea’ sports the jangling rhythms found in classic screamo, and the middle-eight plays out with a delicious call-and-response dual-guitar attack.
The vocals of Jon Desmond are a constant strength; his anguish and anxieties are palpable, creating a claustrophobic and harrowing atmosphere throughout. His spoken-word confessions on short interlude piece ‘Stories Of Madness, Of Violence’ beckon you into the deepest recesses of his mind, exploring his failures and exposing his faults backed by a sombre, blues-drenched guitar line. ‘Raised’ finds the band breaking down the barriers further into experimentation, incorporating glockenspiels and a warbling female vocal [actually that of bassist, Tom Knock - apparently] in the style of ‘Knife Party’ or ‘Great Gig In The Sky’, closing out proceedings in the typically devastating style this EP has demonstrated.
Watch the video to ‘I’m Everything I’ve Ever Feared’ by Grappler:
Despite having a astonishingly bad name (I mean, c’mon guys, “Grappler” sounds like a Rucktion Records wet dream), this emerging fivesome have made an incredibly promising record to satisfy a growing fanbase. Every track here shows an exacting and mature approach to honing their considerable strength and abilities, and captures the potency of their live performance. The buzz around Grappler will grow quickly in 2013; make sure you’re on board sooner rather than later, lest they pass you by.
Sounds Like: “The Wave” and “#UKSWELL” at a “Shit Monikers Anonymous” meeting
Standout Tracks: Edward, Panacea, Raised