Sworn In: A Welcome Suprise to the Lake County scene.

 Originally I kind of passed these guys because someone, you know who you are, described them as Kingmaker 2.0.  That was a poor and inaccurate description as Sworn In sounds nothing like Kingmaker.

Anyway skip the first song, Catharsis and listen to it last. I frankly don’t know why they chose it to be their first track off the EP uploaded on to Facebook, but the other four songs easily make up for it.  In terms of listening carefully to their stuff, I’ve been to their shows both as Sworn In and Buried By The Ocean.  They didn’t shock me live, but then who does at The Oasis?

Some of the jazzy feeling ambient riffs are actually quite well done and well placed, which I can appreciate. You eventually tire of the “Hey, let’s throw some cool sounding ambient riffs in here so people will think we are melodic and talented, as well as extremely hardcore.”   Throw in some promotional spinkicks, middle fingers, and thumping of the chest woven attire with catchy slangs such as “Snappin’ necks and cashin’ checks”, crossed out Juggalo long-sleeves, and Lebron James jersies. Bad-ass right?

That said, the sheer well composed nature of some of the ambient melodic riffs could have these guys hire themselves out to Restaurants to play groovy jazz music and excel at it. I’m convinced of that.  That said, this is probably some of the best ambient riffage I’ve heard in the scene. Misery Signals and FFTD might have nothing on these guys provided Sworn In keeps up this kind of writing.  Yea, I’m still quite surprised by that.

Don’t worry or be thrown off though, the heaviness is definitely there. Plenty of two-stepping bro-core riffs abound pleasing even the most picky scenester or bad-ass hardcore kid, your choice.  Breakdowns? Yea, they got those. Some fast ABR/TGIish feeling ones, some of the Oceano/TAS slow-paced breakdowns.  There is a chaotic feel to this as well, which isn’t actually thrown off by the synth, which really fits in well and give the EP a great catchy feel to it.  I’ll point out again, I’m really shocked by this.  The original stuff I heard by Buried By The Ocean never really stood out to me, but this EP is as if they somehow improved 100-fold.

 My personal favorite is “Welcome To The NHK” which bathes the listener with over six minutes of beat-down riffs, a catchy heavy screaming chorus consisting of the very legible, “Take, take It all from me, I’ve given so much, when you will you see?”   Now I’m not looking for anything remotely resembling lyrical substance in our scene considering 95% of the songs are all about someone’s relationship, how it’s broken, and how they hate them/love them, ect. This EP isn’t really an exception, but the music makes up for it. Besides who really thinks about the lyrics when they are throwing down and sending the 12 year olds nearby flying?

My second closest favorite was ex, a song completely devoted to you guessed it; how much said ex sucked, horrible, ect. All that good stuff. Overlooking that, this song has some of the best ambient melodic riffs I’ve heard from any local band around here, or for most bands around for that matter.  Specifically I was enraptured by some of the piano/snyth work in the song and was even further surprised by a well developed solo that resisted the urge to wreck itself with plenty of shredding so that the metal kids could headbang to it and twaddle their fingers in idolized awe. Remember, I hate solos.

If you haven’t download their five song EP. They’ve provided it free via mediafire, which makes me quite happy so I don’t have to hide my illegal piracy ninja skills from Josh Woods who will troll me to the end of eternity if he catches a breath of my devious and decrepit activities.

Anyway, check this out. I’ve been recently looking for a local band to stand out from the crowded and rather disappointing metal/hardcore Lake County scene and these guys just might be it.

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