Energy – Walk Into The Fire

Energy has gotten a bad rap over the years. They were unquestionably the victim of a tidal wave of hype heading into their first full length, Invasions of the Mind.  Once heralded as one of hardcore’s next big things, many reviewers didn’t find the record to be as solid as I did. In a way I almost feel like they were being marketed to the wrong crowd, especially when the band’s bio mentions bands like New Found Glory and My Chemical Romance using the hardcore scene as a launching pad. Perhaps they were trying to replicate the massive success these bands have enjoyed, or maybe just trying to draw comparisons. Invasions was definitely not a traditional hardcore record, and I feel like reviewers were trying to treat it as such.

With all that said, just to get it out the way, AFI is clearly a huge influence on Energy. From their sound (and the way it has progressed since their debut EP Punch the Clock) to their artwork, the influence is definitely obvious. Energy is not ripping them off however, and definitely have carved out their own niche with their catchy brand of poppy, melodic hardcore. The general consensus among reviews of the band’s previous material is a dislike for the vocals of Jason Tankerley. I have to disagree. While the vocal production is definitely of the over-produced variety, the guy has some serious range and his vocal melodies are incredibly infectious. He also is capable of doing a more than adequate job recreating them in a live setting.

Walk into the Fire serves as third proper release (fifth if you count their Summer 2007 Demo and the Race the Sun teaser EP) and is a solid continuation of the groundwork laid down by Invasions of the Mind. While the record is only three songs long, it’s a fairly memorable release and a good sign of things to come.

The thing that immediately caught my attention was the inclusion of keyboards, and to be honest, I’m not totally crazy about it. It has its moments where it fits in nicely, but on tracks such as “Angels At My Grave” where it becomes the focal point, it just doesn’t work for me. Everything else sounds similar in terms of production and general quality of playing as Invasions of the Mind did, which is a definite positive. Everything sounds massive and nothing is overpowered.

The songs themselves aren’t a far cry from what you might be used to, so if you didn’t like Energy before there’s a pretty solid chance that you won’t now, unless you thought the one thing that was really holding them back was a lack of presence of keys. That being said, I don’t have many complaints, being as I liked them before.

The title track is, in my opinion, the best of the three songs featured here. It starts off with a nasally arpeggio before kicking into some definite AFI –influenced riffs. Tankerley’s trademark soaring vocals enter shortly after. Lyrically, they aren’t breaking any ground but I can’t help but really enjoy the lyrics regardless. If anything, this song sounds darker than their previous material, but it still sounds characteristically like Energy.

The following track, Let’s Get Away is similar to Walk into the Fire in the way that it opens, albeit with a lot more keyboard. It is unquestionably catchy, and feels a lot more light-hearted than the previous track. The keyboard is much more noticeable than the previous track as well.

Unfortunately, the third song isn’t up to par with the previous two. Angels at my Grave features far too much keyboard for my liking, and borders on being way too ballad-y. The pace at which the song moves isn’t really slow, but it definitely borders on it. I think the lyrics are solid, but that’s about the best compliment I can pay to this song. I feel like it was a poor choice to close the EP with.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the “woahs” you might expect to hear are all over this record. Not a complaint for me, but I know others aren’t crazy about it. I guess years of listening to AFI have made my disposition toward them a lot brighter than others.

Overall, this EP is a solid transition towards their next release. It’s not going to convert people who aren’t big on the band, but if you are a fan you will find something to like here. It adds a lot of different elements that hadn’t been seen on previous releases and it gives the listener to feeling that the band is starting to flesh out their sound. If nothing else, it has made me excited to see where they go next.

(6.8/10)



3 Comments

  1. uidiot wrote:

    you are a damn idiot for thinking angels at my grave is the worst song on the EP

  2. Alec wrote:

    not enough d beat

  3. uidiot wrote:

    PENISPENISPENISPENIS

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