Having recently signed to Standby Records releasing their debut EP ‘Capture The Current’, United States four-piece metalcore band If Not For Me are creating waves by wowing fans with their explosive live performances, catchy chorus, driving riffs and head splitting breakdown, and cementing themselves in the metalcore scene. If Not For Me has shared the stage with a range of national acts including Wage War, Ice Nine Kills and local Pennsylvanian bands like August Burns Red. Hailing from the small town of Lemoyne, which is just outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, this four piece which originally was formed in 2012, underwent a range of changes, with If Not For Me being reformed and compromising with veterans ranging from all over Pennsylvania local metal scene, with Patrick Glover on vocals, Hayden Calhoun on guitar and backing vocals, Zac Allen on bass and Sterling Hershey on drums. If Not For Me is here and they’re here to impress with this stunning sounding EP, produced by Grammy nominees Grant McFarland and Carson Slovac of Atrium Audio/Think Loud Studios (August Burns Red, Texas In July, Polaris). ‘Capture The Current’ is a very tight and fat sounding release. The guitar work by Calhoun is epic, matched by Calhoun’s range of drum patterns, Allen’s punchy bass tone and the icing on the cake, the screams and cleans by Glover.
If Not For Me’s debut EP ‘Capture The Current’ opens with First One’s Free and I was not expecting this track to go the way it did. It starts with what kind of sounds like the ocean before the guitar comes in playing dissonant chord, with Hershey and Allen joining in to get you ready for what you think would be vocals entering. Next second your being smacked with a chunky breakdown, with bass drops that for a good few play throughs I thought was someone either knocking on my study door or someone banging the wall, no joke.
The party doesn’t stop there, as Glover enters and the riffs just drive from there, featuring some nice sound guitar tapping lead, glitch effects and tight rhythm work, before all coming to a catchy chorus. There is an ambient sounding section, with Allen and Hershey playing some interesting backing rhythm together that reminds me of some of the work on Northlane’s album ‘Node’ and has Calhoun playing a solo. The song ends similar to how it started with the opening breakdown, which I think is a really cool way. The metalcore hurricane that is If Not For Me has not finished there, with tracks Diminnocence, Absolve and Milwaukee following the same metalcore attack that you experienced in First One’s Free, with breakdowns, catchy vocals and groovy riffs. Still Frame would probably be my favourite track on ‘Capture The Current’, as I really enjoyed how some of the riffs had a deathcore-esque vibe with blast beats. The chorus is catchy and it reminds me of As I Lay Dying, and I think it has the coolest sounding breakdown on the EP with all the different effects that are used in it and the little synth sounding melody hiding in the background.
I really enjoy my metalcore with the way that it has evolved over the years and that each country has its own variation, plus I’m a sucker for catchy vocals. ‘Capture The Current’ by If Not For Me was a tricky album for me to review, not because it was just over 20 minutes long, but the fact that I would lose my train of thought and could easily get lost for a few hours in the music. The only thing on this album that I did not like was the chorus vocals on Milwaukee, but I cannot stand the sound of auto-tuned vocals and it is has only ever so slightly been added onto them in this track and you might disagree with me, but autotune vocals are just not for me – plus I know that Glover can sing from the other tracks on ‘Capture The Currents’. I’m sure If Not For Me has the autotune on for a reason, but it’s something I have personally grown to dislike from watching bands use autotune live and having that T-Pain sound on the vocals – pure cringe. However, besides vocal dislike on Milwaukee, this is a rather pumping debut EP for this metalcore band and I’m sure the next release by If Not For Me will be even better.
‘Capture The Current’ is available now on all platforms.