Sometimes you get a good surprise for review ; a band you never heard about and from whom you didn’t expect much ends up blowing your mind. Well fellas, that’s the case with this record.
First things first : Cleave is a band from Japan. After writing this sentence I felt compelled to double-check on google. Man, the singer does NOT sound one bit Japanese. I’m not a native myself but all I can hear is a flawless American accent.
Musically they’re playing a great kind of melodic Hardcore/Punk, and honestly after listening to their EP I felt like they belonged up there with bands like Polar Bear Club, Make Do and Mend or Seahaven. Not as an opening act, but possibly as the most exciting band of the night.
They have a more hardcore touch than the aforementioned bands ; and the fact that Rick Rodney from Strife is doing some back-up vocals on the opening song Skeletons in the closet reinforces that idea.
I must say I’m impressed by the quality of the songwriting: the melodies are harmonious and driving, some of the instrumental parts are quite daring and, weirdly enough, remind me of Alexisonfire at times.
This record came out on Street Machine Records in Europe and it features a very nice acoustic song as a bonus.
If you like the bands mentioned in this review, do yourself a favor and check out Cleave, you won’t be disappointed!