[29th March 2014]
02. Wishing I Had Time
04. It’s All Yours
The debut EP is often a quaintly endearing affair. With new bands taking their first faltering steps towards finding their sound, these initial releases regularly showcase little more than future potential, a tiny taste of things to come – but Core Of Io‘s first offering With Gravity As My Hostess is not really like that. Released with the tiniest of fanfares, this south coast quartet have nonchalantly stepped up to the plate and, frankly, knocked it out of the park. Bam.
With Gravity As My Hostess is four tracks of remarkably – and justifiably – self-assured tech-flavoured progressive rock. Core of Io take similar ingredients to The Safety Fire (albeit in differing, less spiky, proportions) alongside nods to bands like The Postman Syndrome and Karnivool, and play them with the scampering energy of a basket of puppies. It is an infectious brew.
What is immediately striking is that whilst there are only four tracks on the EP, there are considerably more good ideas. The songs are constantly twisting and turning, yet remain natural and cohesive. Three minutes into opening track “Smile” there is a particularly glorious section with a deft little pause that sends a shiver down the spine, yet it is only given two repetitions before the band moves on again.
Dynamic, intelligent and dripping with hooks, the EP doesn’t take long to worm into the listeners affections. Its also reasonable to assume that these tracks will pack a hefty punch in the live environment.
There’s little which gives away the fact this is a debut, independent release. Perhaps the only glaring example is the volume mismatch between the guitars that is most apparent on “Smile“, with the lead part cutting through a bit too well and dominating the mix in the choruses.
But with only minor niggles and clearly no weak links in the line-up, With Gravity As My Hostess firmly establishes Core Of Io on the emerging band landscape. Possibly the most pleasant surprise of the year to date, we fully expect the band’s profile to grow substantially in the coming months.
Also, if this is what Core Of Io’s first effort looks like, whatever they come up with next could be tremendously exciting. Fans of the progressive and the technical would do well to watch this space.
The first three tracks of With Gravity As My Hostess can be streamed on the band’s Bandcamp page (below), with the fourth unlocked on purchase. At a mere three pounds, that’s a pretty sweet deal. Go seek.