Alt-rock ensemble Scout Killers originated between the UK cities of Bristol and Bath in 2009. Following their formation, the band enjoyed success with their first studio effort, We Cage the Storm. Since then, they’ve been building up a steady fan base through touring their homeland and a couple of follow up records.
The five piece act are currently on the road again, making their mark on the British live scene, with confirmed dates as far as the end of June. The goal is to promote their latest EP, Stand Your Ground; a collection of five dark and despondent alternative anthems that weigh heavy.
The title track fades in gradually, establishing an ominous atmosphere through slowly building, brooding instrumentation. A sombre verse sets in before the music explodes into tormented guitars and drums, joined by piercing vocals.
“The Rains” begins with a bracing riff amid a sobering melody. It takes off during the loud but bleak chorus, creating an air of fearfulness and pessimism. “Time and Again” follows in its wake, introduced by mellow guitars and reserved percussion. Forlorn vocals lead towards more instrumental elements, all of which maintain a melancholy ambience.
A slow burning riff and sporadic drum beats get “Honey” off to a hushed start, while a low, resonating harmony joins in for the verse. The instrumentation erupts epically towards the end, biting hard when combined with the distressed vocals.
“Cease and Resist” features a riff that’s more lively and resolute than those of its predecessors, but still quite burdensome. Aggressive lyrics are passionately delivered as the pace bounds along purposefully. The determined guitars and heartfelt vocals serve to conclude the EP on a musical high.
Scout Killers have partaken in a very dramatic and vexing style of song writing here. Stand Your Ground comes with a tone of dejection and disheartenment that persists from the beginning to the very end. That’s not to say that it doesn’t sound good or demonstrate accomplished instrumental skills and vocal talent. Just don’t expect it to cheer you up at the end of a bad day!