Lots to choose from this month, so narrowing it down to just a handful of releases was not easy… Continue reading
This is modern metal that enjoys incorporating a few different styles and genres into itself. The core of the band falls somewhere between technical metal, djent, hardcore/metalcore, and modern death metal. This forms the bedrock of the band’s Continue reading
Neck of the Woods’ début EP is an exciting blend of Progressive Metal and Hardcore fury, one that’s really made itself felt around these parts. I was eager to find out more about this compelling new band…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!
Dave: Neck of the Woods is a five piece metal progressive metal band from Vancouver, BC. Myself and Travis Hein on guitars, Jeff Radomsky on vocals, Jason Puder on bass and Jeff Brown on the drums.
Give us a bit of history to Neck of the Woods
Dave: Jeff Drums and I starting jamming back in 2012 after my old band split up. I had one song ready to go and that got the ball rolling. We found the other guys, mostly through Craigslist, and the plan was the keep the band on the down low until we were ready to play our first show. We released a two song demo in 2013 and made our live debut January 2014 ready to go. Just a couple months later we were chosen to represent Vancouver in the Waken Metal Battle Finals in Toronto. We didn’t make it all the way to Germany but we had opening gigs for The Faceless, Havok and Wrecthed shortly after we returned. Hit the studio in October 2014 and here we are now with our debut EP!
Where did the band name come from?
Jeff vocals: When we were picking a name we wanted something that wouldn’t pigeon hole us as a metal band, something that looked good in type and was easy to remember. ‘Neck of the woods’ was something I remembered my dad saying all the time as a child, it fit our criteria and goes along thematically with the art and design I wanted to do while hosting a kind of pacific north west feel to it. We’re all happy to be playing under the name.
What are your influences?
Dave: There are a couple key bands we all really enjoy. Between the Buried and Me, Gojira, Every Time I Die, Opeth, Misery Signals, Converge…
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
Dave: I’ve been listening to a lot of Cloudkicker lately. The album Beacons especially. Instrumental stuff, really cool grooves and riffs. If we’re hanging out having beers we’ll toss on From Parts Unknown, the latest Every Time I Die album.
Your début EP contains a number of different influences, where do you think you fit in the wider Metal scene?
Dave: Wherever we land really. We naturally end up writing in the ‘progressive’ style. Regular use of odd time signatures and cool transitions, quieter clean parts to help with the build ups… but our singer Jeff has more of a hardcore sound so it’s a cool blend. We really don’t limit ourselves when it comes to the style of riffs we write, so you never know!
What’s your favourite song on the EP and why?
Dave: Right now, I Know Where I’ll Bury you. Which is strange because there are no guitar solos on it haha. We ended up choosing that tune to release as the single from the EP, and now kids are going off when we play it live! We’ve been closing our set with it as of late and you can’t help but throw down the whole time. Feels good man.
What are the subjects/themes of the songs on this EP?
Jeff vocals: Self awareness and personal growth are the two main things that all 6 songs branch from. The EP touches on faulty leaders, close friends, family grievances and the quarrels of endorsements.
Give us a bit of information on your songwriting process.
Dave: Travis and I are always riffing, but only certain ones will make the cut. One of us will show up with a decent chunk of a song started… the first couple riffs or the general feel/groove and then we build from there. Play it a couple times, see if we need to extend/shorten certain parts. Usually we’re just hashing it out in the jam space, but lately we’ve started recording riffs and sending them to each other just to help things along.
How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?
Dave: Hard to say, and that’s the best part. The EP has a pretty good mix of longer prog tunes, and short riffy bangers. I can see that being a consistent thing with us. Actually the new song we are playing has more of a Opeth groove going on. We had a chance to play it at the EP release show and it was really well received. At the same time we’re working on a new thrasher tune that has some Revocation style stuff happening… so we aren’t slowing down just yet!
What’s next for Neck of the Woods?
Dave: We’re got Calgary Metalfest in June and Armstrong Metalfest in July, as well as an all ages gig and another local show in between so we will be busy. Hopefully hit the road again in September to support the EP, and keep on the riffs so we’ve got enough for a full length next year! Make sure to check out the album stream at https://neckofthewoods.bandcamp.com/album/neck-of-the-woods
Music like this is an exciting prospect; birthed of Metal in all its glorious forms, Neck of the Woods don’t constraint themselves with just one style and instead coherently incorporate lots of influences into their musical framework.
This is interesting, stimulating music for fans of Converge, Between the Buried and Me, Devil Sold His Soul, Mastodon, etc. – essentially any band that’s pushing the envelope, playing music from the heart and daring to be a bit different.
Under the overall aegis of Progressive Metal, Neck of the Woods pack Modern Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Post-Metal and Technical Metal into nearly 29 minutes of playing time.
The throaty roar of the singer’s voice carries the deep resonance of Extreme Metal while the music explores the boundaries of its self-created domain.
The band can certainly play and they have a good side-order of technicality dished up with their meals. The complexity serves the songs though, rather than the other way around; the guitars carry the listener through landscapes that are familiar and yet fresh at the same time.
For all of this, the band are a very easy listen. The songs are vibrant and satisfying in the way that only good Metal can be. They have personality and seem to have been created purely for the love of it, as should be the way. Yes, there is aggression here, but it’s not of the nihilistic, hate-fuelled variety. Although I’d stop short of describing this as friendly music, it certainly is personable and agreeable. If you’re into heavy music, that is; the average person on the street would probably just view this as noise, as they tend to do with anything even vaguely Metallic.
Neck of the Woods are an exciting new addition to the worldwide Metal scene and I’m eager to hear what they do next.
Oh, and they also have a song called I Know Where I’ll Bury You. Class.