MusicReviews

EP REVIEW: Beyond Recall – Selfish Scars

Having made a name for themselves on the Bristol scene, Beyond Recall have taken their music global. 2017 is set to kick off with the trio releasing their latest EP Selfish Scars, bringing their unique mix of heavy rock with a hip-hop edge to brighten your year.

140 Characters throws us into the heart of the pop-punk action – with stuttered guitars and strong albeit clichéd vocals it’s a strong start. “I’m over it and over you” becomes one of those lyrics you just can’t shift from your head. Social media is becoming a large part of life, love and even music so the nod to it during this track’s chorus and title is a smart and relatable move on the part of Beyond Recall.

Title track Selfish Scars brings forth the rock side of Beyond Recall, we’re great fans of diversity in sound and this is just what we’ve been given with the first two tracks. Zaid Elgahmi’s vocals take prominence standing strong over the vamped up guitar line. Following is Get It Right which one again feels like a completely different band. As the lead single, it seems a bit strange that they haven’t chosen one which sums them up fully. Despite being infectious enough to get your foot-tapping along to it, lyrics become washed out with bold guitar lines and frantic drums. The dash of raw, screamed vocals here doesn’t add anything to it, except making it feel unfinished and messy. After a solid opening, we’re left hoping it redeems itself for the later half.

Onlies features some of the trio’s strongest guitar work, yet it feels looooonnng – like when you have a huge chocolate sundae which you really like, but it’s taking a bit too long to finish and you’re losing interest. The fast pace of this track takes you on turns, despite being one of the vocally weaker tracks the strength is found elsewhere musically and is a redeeming strength of the release. Almost features in two formats on this EP, showing just how much of fan favourite this has become in the Beyond Recall fanbase. Highlighting their musical genre variation, rap vocals get their first outing on this release, proving why this is one of the most catchy tracks on the release. The infectious chorus with the lyrics “over and over again” will swirl around in your head. We can visualise the points of this song that will see mosh pits erupting within in the venues, and we expect nothing but chaos to occur.

Tomorrow is a little different with a whole lot more emotion than we’ve seen previously and a welcome returned to their pop-punk style. Backing vocals play an important role here adding an emotive dynamic when singing about living your life and forgetting others opinions of you, an important message especially when going into the new year. Closing the release is an alternative version of Almost, ending on a relaxed note the acoustic tempo at the start is a sign of what’s to come. There’s definitely a strong RnB vibe here which, when mixed with a lighter guitar support and delicate drum snare, really allows the vocals to retain their strength and catchiness. Sometimes alternative versions of tracks can be a bit pointless, but we’re absolutely hooked on this version and might even prefer it to the original!

Beyond Recall haven’t taken us on the smoothest musical ride with Selfish Scars but by ending on a high they’ve left a great impression, which will no doubt be the same for many other listeners. Genre variation is a hard skill to master but the trio have cracked it with ease, setting them in perfect footing for 2017.

7/10

Standout Tracks: Onlies, Almost (Alternative)

For Fans Of: All Time Low, Don Broco, Yellowcard

Written By: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for pop music, the seaside and writing about other people rather than myself.