To reinvent yourself is to grow, adapt and mature. Change is an intimidating peril that can reveal the best and worst of most artists. Sydney emo-punk trio Whatever, Forever have overcome hindrances to share their illuminating inventive perception through their new EP ‘Slowly Dying With You’ – a five track culmination of the sensitive and emotive episodes that the members have writhed through in order to verify themselves vulnerable and proficient.
EP opener ‘Pieces Of Us’ rises like a slow tide, with the full weight of impassioned arrangements lurking beneath the surface. It takes a while to reach the emphatic hook, but when it gets there – “the pieces of us don’t fit like they used to” – my goodness, it is cathartic and enormous. Melodic intricacies riddle the symphonic introduction, before leading into the familiar second track ‘I Need You More Than You Know’. The production is crisp and hints of a Basement influences shine through in stratums; mammoth textures of distorted ninth chords and growling bass brilliantly accompany the sensitive vocals, and the structure broods and swells deftly as does the severity of sentiment in the song.
‘Ghost Of Me’ signals the midway point of the EP and the band have well and truly hit their stride with this one. It’s atmospheric in places, with the most thoughtful touches of crooning vocal aptitude and roaring riffs. Whatever, Forever’s melodious capacities prove to be a vital strength here – they know when to go hard and when to hold back, and it just works so well. ‘Paterson’ continues the foreboding energy that comprises the EP, as the harmonic vocals rise swiftly above the grungy, snarling undertones. “It feels like everything I ever worried about doesn’t really matter anymore, anymore” – it is purifying and straightforward to the core.
Closing out the EP is the title track, ‘Slowly Dying With You’, teasing a hefty finale with fainting chorused guitars that crescendo into a full scale assault of organised chaos, as the growly releases nod to the qualities of behemoths Title Fight, as the group go hell for leather to round up and reflect on a twenty minute encapsulation of eclipsed visualisations, before sentimental echoes of voices and guitars trail out into silence.
With an altered line up and a refined direction, Whatever, Forever have made one thing extremely clear – they are here to be heard and will deliver the hardest, heaviest and most melodic punk offerings that you may hear all year. ‘Slowly Dying With You’ is a journey through the brains of exceedingly talented songwriters, capable to raise the hairs on the back of your neck and stimulate goosebumps across your body. In my opinion, it is, without a doubt, one of the best punk rock EP’s to be released in 2021 so far.
You can stream ‘Slowly Dying With You’ here.
Feature Photograph: Will Twyford