If you’ve been following UK Scumscene closely for these last two years then I’m sure you’ll already know who Employed to Serve are. We’ve been big fans of the band’s first two EPs but if you’re new to them then allow me to reiterate. Employed to Serve started as a studio project by Justine Jones and Sammy Urwin but soon expanded into a full line-up so the band could tour. Their latest EP ‘Change Nothing, Regret Everything’ is their first recorded material featuring their full line-up and plays out in a similar mathcore fashion to their previous work, so expect a sound similar to that of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Botch and Converge.
The main thing you’ll notice about this record is how utterly ferocious Employed to Serve sound with live drums driving the action. The whole record sounds much more organic now the band have Robbie Black’s hard-hitting yet scrappy drumming in the mix. It really lights up songs like the re-recording of ‘Perfect Smiles and Crooked Teeth’.
The mix has also been stripped back to showcase a sound that’s as true to a live recording as possible. There’s no bells and whistles randomly scattered about the place on this EP; this really does sound like four guys and one gal going absolutely ape-shit and dragging you along for the ride.
Another big change is how the vocals on this EP are entirely screamed. Justine sounds even more pissed off than usual and her performance is absolutely electrifying in the process. It’s a shame that Sammy’s haunting singing doesn’t return to help diversify the record slightly, but this is a minor complaint that merely marks a “what if?” scenario that we’ve painted in our minds. The important thing is the band are evolving and trying new things which gives ‘Change Nothing, Regret Everything’ an identity of its own.
Speaking of Sammy, the guitarist is on absolutely top form. Riffs are always monolithic and hugely inventive. The guitar work twists and turns with the complex structure of the songs and some amazing material is on display in songs like ‘You Looked Forever’ which continually expands before it explodes into a huge hardcore riff that brings the whole EP to a satisfying end.
Employed to Serve are on top of their game and continue to be one of the most exciting bands in the UK right now. Their sound continues to evolve into a much larger, more technical beast and the band know how to maximise on huge riffs and interesting song structures to keep their audience engaged whilst smashing their faces through their nearest wall. This is an intense and fairly progressive record that deserves a place in your record collection.
Employed to Serve’s ‘Change Nothing, Regret Everything’ is released on 12″ vinyl through Holy Roar Records on March 31st 2014.