I’ve been checking out some amazing music lately but I’ve felt like something is missing and that thing is heaviness. Although I’m a pop-punk princess at heart, I’m a sucker for some good hardcore and metalcore music so I was stoked when I saw Softspoken’s ‘Where the Heart Belongs’ sitting in my ever-growing stack of music to review. I have only heard one song for this band but I remember it packed a punch so let’s not waste any time and let’s dig into this quick five-song EP!
“Sleight of Hand” wastes no time getting into the heaviness that Softspoken can do. Dazzling guitars swirl above heavy and dark drums and chugging chords before crystal clear vocals come in over the top of it all. These vocals bring a sense of tenderness with how clear they come through but there’s no denying the power that also comes with them. The contrast between the vocals and everything else going on in this opening track instantly had me sold on Softspoken. Just when I was getting comfortable with the tender vocals, everything changed and the vocals jumped on a rollercoaster of highs and lows that I hope will continue throughout this EP.
Second on this EP is “Bones” and, although it starts off quiet, it doesn’t stay that way. A quick build leads to an explosion of sound and flawless guitars and rums that just hit right to your core. Much like the opening, the vocals come in and bring a sense of calm over the chaos but, like that quiet intro, it doesn’t last and, before long, the vocals go the way of the instrumentation and hit your ears like a ton of bricks. This song was an instant favorite of mine. There’s something ear-wormy and familiar about the chorus but also something so distinctively that of Softspoken. It drew me in and never let go.
The title track of this album, “Where the Heart Belongs” (feat. Alexia Rodriguez)” continued to showcase the flawless nature of this band. I really can not stress how expertly recorded and mastered this band’s sound is. It doesn’t feel overly polished but it definitely catapults this band into a category that is sure to have their name in lights in no time. I love the vocals that Alexia Rodriguez brings to this track and the way they mesh with everything else going on in this song made me want to hear more collaborations between this powerful band and Alexia.
“Realign” brings something a bit more commercial to the table and, although not quite the sound for me, because I prefer a bit more of an edge, such as the production of this album, this track, is sure to really catapult this band to the next level. I will say that, although overall, this track is a bit more mainstream than I tend to go, the breakdown about halfway through hit me hard and had me thinking that Softspoken is the perfect gateway band for this genre. They have that radio-friendly element in some songs but they quickly hit you right in the teeth with the power and aggression of something a little less radio-friendly. As a snob who likes her metalcore completely and intensely in her face, I appreciated how this album could draw someone in and get them more into the powerful side of this scene.
Even though there’s no aggression at the beginning of “The Road”, the amount of beauty that this track kicks off with instantly reminded me of bands like Circa Survive in a weird way. It’s just the surprisingly beautiful vocals contrasted with the pure power of everything else, it really does draw you in before hitting you with a one-two punch as the vocals go into something a bit more sinister and aggressive. This final song is a perfect ending to a perfect EP. It really ties up the loose ends while leaving you wanting so much more from Softspoken.
I like my metal heavy and my vocals growly. This is not that sound but there are elements scattered throughout this EP. Although this release may verge on being a bit too commercial for my personal preference, there’s no denying the power, and talent that Softspoken has. This is one band that I just absolutely have to see live when the opportunity shows itself.
My Favorite Track(s): “Bones”
For Fans Of: Gateway Bands; Heaviness With a Sense of Beauty; Talent
Mosh-ability: 8.6 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept on the back of the couch; Autumn wandered around like a creep
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9.5 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 8.2 out of 10
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