Life Begins At These Dead Ends is the debut album of WINCHESTER. Generally described as post-hardcore, they draw inspiration from the entire rock n’ roll catalogue and their sound has been likened to everything from BIFFY CLYRO to SLIPKNOT. The album was written and recorded whilst the trio, Adam Catalan (Lead Vocals & Bass), Scott Mahoney (Backing Vocals & Guitar), Max Edkins (Drums), were still music students.
Life Begins has quick flowing lyrics that won’t let up and keep going in rhythm to the guitars behind them; very pleasing to hear and, along with the subject matter of people letting you down or not being good friends, relatable. Two thirds of the way through, the song changes, becoming more desperate, the vocals are less calm and increase to shouting alongside the guitars growing harsher. In Diamond, the vocals lean into screaming as well as the clean, gentle vocals heard in Life Begins. It’s a little unexpected but does fit into the song. It tells the story of a freedom fighter and his discovery of enemies in today’s urban landscape. Life Begins was released as the first single, shortly followed by Diamond prior to the album release, both with accompanying videos. WINCHESTER are producing videos for all the songs, to ultimately have a complete, visual story.
Safe In Sound opens softly with a piano introduction, before guitars kick in. It makes you stop, takes you off guard because of the change in pace and sound. When the vocals come in, they’re fast paced and upbeat, a contradiction to the intro, adding to the album’s eclectic feel. At These also begins with a slow introduction, this time a glockenspiel which continues in the background of the song. It’s almost haunting, bringing up memories of cold, lonely nights. Line Up’s introductory vocals are reminiscent of SLIPKNOT, with deep, spoken vocals interchanged with screaming. This then develops into a more pop-rock sound with a catchy chorus, a trait found throughout the album. The album draws to a close on Dead Ends which contains BRING ME THE HORIZON style screaming and clean vocals, energetic guitar riffs, and some quirky electric sounds. The whole song is a bit eccentric, nicely summing up the album.
It’s clear WINCHESTER understand music, what has made other bands successful, and the different genres, this has allowed them to mix the different sounds effectively and pleasingly to create Life Begins At These Dead Ends. They are using their songs to express issues in the world, what is bothering them about our society and this honesty comes through in the lyrics. It’s not superficial. Bringing together a range of genres and musical styles in harmony and creating an extremely accessible sound is a difficult task but one they have achieved, seemingly with ease, though that’s unlikely to be the case. For a debut album, it’s extremely impressive and they are one to watch closely.
Life Begins At These Dead Ends is out now via self-release.
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