CD Review: Collisions EP ‘Believe in This’

Chances are, you’ll know very quickly whether or not you like the CD Believe in This by Collisions. Their music doesn’t take its time to get to know you, to massage your ego, or gently prod at hidden desires. Instead, the band serves you a harmonious combination of sounds taken from nu-metal and contemporary dance music that could soundtrack a movie like Tron or the next space race. Using a calculated blend of rhythms to drive every song forward, the band’s real strengths are the way they’re able to give this EP a sense of mass, and acceleration. You can feel the weight constantly pressing on your mind, as each section of every track finds some way to ramp up the force. If this is your thing, and you’ll know that very quickly, it’ll leave you breathless and sweating, screaming out chorus lyrics like a medieval battle cry.

Collisions Brighton band

The EP opens with its title track and single. It carries the metal riffage and impetus that gives the band power, but also the precision that provides their energy. It’s an obvious pick to open the CD, and clearly single material, so it’s probably a good thing that they’ve made a video for it currently showing on Scuzz. The vocal, singed slightly by tasteful production, weaves amongst the beats that you can’t stop nodding your head to. It reminds me of ‘It’s Goin’ Down’ by the X-Ecutioners, which I think I’ve still got stashed away in a box of Linkin Park CDs somewhere.

However, that comparison doesn’t capture the entire essence of what they’ve put into this EP. As the songs progress, small snatches of gothic howling vocal melodies, tinged by compression and synth effects take on a completely new meaning, distorted by the application of a digital filter. Great touches such as this feel like musical allusions to the dramatic imagery of metal and heavy rock, here submerged in the adrenaline fuelled tempos and rhythms of drum n bass.

Collisions artwork

At first, the second track, ‘fire fire’ sounds very similar, although the Skindred influence is most notable here, and continues to surface throughout the track. There are moments here that could be the highlight for the whole CD. The transition from verse to chorus, which realises the potential energy established in the intro, is one of the stand out moments on the EP for me, the moment I keep replaying in my mind as I write this.

Unlike the music of larger acts, local and unsigned artists need to grab your attention immediately. Especially with the smoking ban, where the lure of nicotine addiction keeps people talking to the bouncers and huddling under shelter instead of listening to bands. ‘Chasing Forms’, with its relatively gentle opening, is the most sensitive moment of the release, but it’s not what I’d call slow… it soon ramps up to the same unrelenting energy that you expect by this point. Overall, it recalls something like Enter Shikari. The all-out intensity of this CD tells me that Collisions don’t have a problem with people leaving during their gigs.

If you need so much stimulation that the last track was putting you to sleep, ‘Push’ is a massive kick into fifth gear, with a return to the temple kicking guitar work and a soaring chorus that you will be singing along to by the end. On the CD, there’s also a bonus track, ‘Once Weary Eyes (Fickle6 Club Remix)’. This is a drum n bass/dub heavy foray into a more traditionally club sound, and its comfortable inclusion highlights the underlying dance sensibilities in the rest of the EP.

 

 

To conclude this rather meandering review, I really like Believe in this. It shows how much this band have been able to achieve so far, and proves that they’ve mastered their own sound and developed a direction for their careers. They employ a sense of dark, brooding power, heavy enough to retain the metal band moniker, but they coordinate and mobilize this strength with a combination of musicianship and programming. The dense arrangement on every track means there’s plenty more to discover on multiple listens, and even if you don’t find everything you’re looking for here, it’s definitely worth checking back on the Collisions camp for future releases. I’d be pretty upset if this is the last we hear.

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