The brand new EP  from New Jersey alternaprog, meta-rock dudes Reach is a must-hear for fans of post-hardcore and clean singing in metal genres. Yes, they are real bona fide genres that I made up with my Ultra Somethingorother 4000 keyboard, which was personally designed by Tony Stark who is also Iron Man, so … yeah.

Anyhow, the EP, entitled Patterns In Static shows this band’s undeniable potential in just five short tracks. There are definite influences from a fairly diverse group of bands that, to me, define a sub-genre of metal that focuses more on elements like melody and good song structure. Groups like Protest the Hero, From First To Last, The Human Abstract and TesseracT are all in a strata to which Reach seems to aspire.

The music on Patterns in Static is centered around vocals that trade off between grit and smooth in a way that will remind listeners of the first three bands mentioned above. I’d term the style closest to the “post-hardcore” sound; it is mostly sing-songy, bordering emo-land, but only close enough to get the feeling across with decent singing. If you like Rody Walker‘s voice from Protest The Hero, you’ll probably like the singing on this EP.

The other musicians in the band are quite clearly talented and have produced songs that are extremely tasteful and a display of their individual chops. The first track, “yuNgPunX,” is littered with some pretty impressive guitar doodling. The next track, “The Artificial,” comes together in the middle with a really cool funk interlude featuring a great slap bass section and some very crunchy, syncopated drum beats. On the whole, the music is melodic and holds my interest with several prog elements that are very well-executed. It is definitely a record you can listen to all the way through and still want more by the end.

The production value goes along way toward that end, as well, and it is very organic and not overly processed. The drums sound like real drums and sit well in the mix. The guitars have a smooth tone, but they are still big and powerful enough to drive everything forward. Everything sounds like it is really played, not just chopped up and pasted into place. Reach is definitely one of my top new band picks for 2013, and I’m looking forward to more from these guys.

Patterns in Static is self-released and out now.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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Evil Jon

Evil Jon

A musician, music-lover and audiophile. Fell in love with metal back in middle school and entered a committed relationship with progressive genres a bit later. Opeth and Dream Theatre were the bands that opened the doors for me to reveal what modern music's potential was and it only got better from there. A veteran of the NYC metal scene as guitarist and song-writer for the progressive metal band HUNG, front-line experience and first-hand knowledge of the creative process helps to inform my opinions on music (which are worth exactly 2 cents a piece).
Evil Jon

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