First and foremost, Statues are a band that seem incredibly humble and down to earth. As they’ve said on their Facebook page “We’re five geeks from Perth, WA, playing heavy music we love, with people we love.” And if you ask me (having reviewed them, you should.) that really translates into their new album No Grave, No Burial. It’s fun, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s just pretty damn good music. Let’s dig into the graves and see what we can find.
Before I delve into the songs there are two key elements of the album that I really loved; the vocals and the bass. The vocals of Alex Shom were really reminiscent of those of Bring Me The Horizon frontman, Oli Sykes and due to that I was reminded heavily of Bring Me’s older stuff, which while not my favorite era of the band, was very nice to hear. The bass guitar was f*cking fantastic – it has such a strong presence in most of the songs and a lot of them featured some pretty sexy riffs.
Starting with the first song, “Collapse” we’re hit in the face with one of those sexy bass riffs; drums follow; and then enters the screamed vocals. Whilst being a little basic the screamed vocals are very legible and crisp, making for accessible hardcore music. A solid, concise structure to the song really makes it feel well put together.
Next up is “Sirens” – a lot faster paced, more aggressive and heavier. This is one of the songs that reminded me of Bring Me The Horizon. While the song certainly isn’t the most original to come out of the genre, there are fair few, really nice guitar and bass riffs in this and you get a great taste of the strong bass guitar.
Third song, “Defiance” continues to get progressively more aggressive – harder and faster than the last. Not much to this song that’s very different from the first two, unfortunately. But if the worst I can say about a band is that there’s not a lot of distinction between songs – when the songs are pretty good – that can’t really be that bad.
“Onwards To The Sun” breaks the album up a little by being something new to the listener. Starting off a bit slower and steadier, with long drawn out screams and deeper growls, it gives us a nice sense of variety. This song, like “Collapse,” has good structuring in it that breaks up the song and stops it from sounding like one big wall of noise which I think greatly benefits this song in particular.
Mid-way through the album we’re gifted with a gorgeous instrumental, only spanning for a minute and a half long, but really breaking up the album and giving us something that just sounds pretty. Its atmospheric sound and entrancing vibe really show attention to detail and experience, I think, and it serves its purpose especially as it continues on to lead into the titular song.
In “No Grave, No Burial” the beautiful instrumental continues until interrupted by recurring chanting of the guitar, bass and drums. The vocals chime in, sounding desperate and emotional, like crying out for sheer life. This song puts in a lot of spirit that I feel like was intentionally put into the album’s namesake especially. It feels like anger and desperation screaming out. The instrumentals behind the vocals sound like something apocalyptic, like giving the illusion of hopelessness or despair. A really atmospheric setting in this album.
“Unrest” I feel is personally a lower point of the album, mostly due to what happens at the end. It starts off fast paced – going all out – building up into the chorus which is, as you’d expect, fast paced and going all out even more. This song turns around towards the end, quietens down and gives us deep strumming of the guitar and spoken lyrics, which feels a little disjointed, as it feels like a completely different song.
“Dirge” starts out sounding a little more like a Post-Grunge song with the kind of guitar riff we get at the beginning, before kicking the drums back in and returning to their sound – but with a little less aggression. This song is more contained and shows us a different side to the band. Soaring strings towards the end of the song give us a feeling that the song stands so heavily apart from everything else in this album. I’d say this song is one of the better ones on the album. A chanting chorus of sung and screamed vocals close the song out beautifully.
Finally, at the end of the album we have “Sanctuary”. Start big, and end big. That’s the rule of thumb. “Sanctuary” returns back to the fast, hard and aggressive sound we got earlier in the album. Which is actually quite refreshing since the album was spread apart in its tracklist – all the heavy songs weren’t back to back to back and there was a balance about it. While this song is leaning a bit towards the “wall of noise” category, it’s not bad due to the variety and balance I mentioned just before. This song does exactly what it’s supposed to do – it closes out the album with a big, hard stomp in the ground; leaving a footprint, one that you won’t soon forget.
NO GRAVE, NO BURIAL IS OUT ON 11 NOVEMBER. YOU CAN PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY HERE.