Reparation are a hardcore band in the purest form. This band’s goal is to make mosh music in the vein of bands like Last Witness and Brutality Will Prevail. The West Midlands-based band have a keen eye for a good beatdown and with their debut release Guidance & Hallucinations they do just that.
Reparation are obviously fans of the heavier end of the spectrum because this EP just doesn’t let up. The down-tuned riffing and lairy, yelled vocals bounce their way through the entire EP while the drums deliver the final, punishing punch to give Reparation their signature sound.
The trouble with a sound that’s as black and white as the artwork is that by the end of Guidance & Hallucinations you don’t feel like you’ve been taken on much of journey. The journey of this EP is simply to get in a pit and throw shapes, which is fine if that’s what Reparation are going for but it doesn’t make for the most compelling listening experience.
Take the oiky, punk vocals for instance; they run through the entire EP and not once do they do anything to embed themselves in your head. Reparation’s music always sounds like it’s about to explode into a big chorus employing gang vocals but it never happens.
That really is the problem with Guidance & Hallucinations; it never once tries to deviate from the tried and tested formula. Every song is loaded with yelling and massive, down-tuned, beatdown riffs but you can’t help but feel that if Reparation threw a curveball into the mix they could’ve unearthed some really engaging hardcore. Unfortunately, the EP ends up feeling like one giant song instead of 6 smaller ones with their own unique elements to help them stand out.
It’s a shame really because the EP sounds enormous as well. The production standard is impeccable and the mix is equally brilliant; this is a huge-sounding, professional studio recording which is not something you’d usually expect from a band’s first release. Reparation have a keen ear for sound quality which really helps give this EP an edge.
However, you can’t help but feel that Guidance & Hallucinations is a functional release. For fans of heavy music and high-kicks it will be an essential release because it ticks all the boxes, but for those of us looking for something with a bit more substance you might be left feeling a little empty.
Reparation’s Guidance & Hallucinations EP can be bought from Witch Hunter Records digitally at a name-your-own price.