Post-hardcore quintet Acres are gearing up for the release of their most ambitious EP to date In Sickness & Health. The EP is due out February 24th, right in the middle of the band’s UK tour with Australia’s Hellions.
In Sickness & Health is vicious, eclectic, and already acclaimed by Radio 1’s Daniel P. Carter and Rock Sound magazine so you know you’re onto a winner. It kicks off with ‘Overseer’, a track embodying the perhaps over-zealous notion of ‘pure’ post-hardcore. ‘Overseer’ opens the EP with bite, keeping a relentless, frantic tempo that barely stops to breathe. The track does what it says on the tin. It introduces the band with a bang, but it doesn’t quite match up to the rest of the EP. The track could even be alienating to fans who still aren’t convinced by this caliber of post-hardcore, which is a shame since In Sickness & Health later slows into a much more accessible sound.
‘Miles Apart’ and ‘Gloom’ strike a calculated balance between vocal styles. Ben Lumber injects verses of crushing vocals with softer melodies and impressive guitar riffs, culminating in anthemic, empowered tracks. This sound suits the tone and dynamic of Acres much better than the opener—it allows the audience to invest in the narrative. Acres are at their strongest with ‘In Sickness & Health’. The track is cleverly balanced, depicting a powerful voice of anger and despair. Lyrically, ‘In Sickness & Health’ is the EP’s best effort: “Promise you’ll stay, these are the things that I wish I could say.”
The EP closes with ‘Miles Apart (Sad Song Version)’, the polar opposite of ‘Overseer’. Where the opener didn’t slow down, ‘Miles Apart (Sad Song Version)’ never speeds up. The track is slow, production-heavy, and what can only be described as monotone.
In Sickness & Health is a band still fumbling to figure out what sound suits them best. Acres get off to a shaky start, but the central three songs prove they have the ability to write impressive tracks. Keep at it, lads.