This Speaking In Shadows article was written by Evie Myers, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Adam Barrett
Sometimes you think it’s a little quiet in the Midlands, and you certainly don’t hear much about Nuneaton. Enter alternative rock quintet Speaking in Shadows, eager to make their voices heard and spread their musical philosophies to every corner of the country. Perhaps they are aptly named, but they certainly won’t want to be whispering in the shadows for much longer. Their latest EP ‘The Anchor’ has a touch of the fresh, lighter rock feel about it but teeters on the generic side.
For the past five years, Speaking in Shadows have refused to live an existence based solely on the mundane and instead strive to create catchy, exciting songs inspired by their roots. While this is a good idea in principle, ‘The Anchor’ seems to lack anything truly memorable. This isn’t to say that Speaking in Shadows aren’t talented, far from it but they need to find a unique sound that takes them from mediocre to unforgettable.
Something to be remarked upon in ‘The Anchor’ is the lyrics, ranging from the intriguing in EP opener ‘Capsized’, to the catchy emotional words in ‘Scatter’. What this band gets wholly right is the way of capturing and conveying empathy in their songs. This accompanied with Adam Smith’s phenomenally versatile vocals, particularly in ‘Bite’, ‘And Grit’ and ‘Figure of Eighty’, makes this a true highlight of the EP.
The use of layering music, particularly in the opening to ‘And Grit’ showcases the talent that these boys have. Also the raw power that guitarists Lewis Sketchley and Ali Carvell have create the foundations of what could potentially be a brilliant rock band. Their ability to create great riffs is outstanding, but the solos are short-lived, which is frustrating as you feel teased by the music. This is epitomised in ‘Scatter’ and ‘And Grit’, where guitar solos are sporadic and the song’s climaxes are sudden and slightly disappointing. The quality picks up in closing track ‘Easy For You’, but feels a little late to the party. This EP feels much like an appetiser: filling you with some sustenance but you’re not fully satisfied.
In all, ‘The Anchor’ leaves you tapping your foot and nodding your head politely, but that’s about it. It seems that Speaking in Shadows doesn’t quite beckon you out of your seat to mosh, dance and scream along with these songs just yet.
‘The Anchor’ is out now via Speaking in Shadows’ independent label.