- Ready for Conflict
- Vultures, Scavengers
“The problems in our lives seems so big. I can barely see the horizon over these giants.”
These are the opening lyrics to Dependency’s debut EP titled Convicted, released through Blood & Ink Records on May 25th. Hailing from Nashville Dependency broke onto the scene last summer with their energetic Spirit-filled hardcore. They gave away their 3-song demo for free to anyone who would take it, and from there the buzz began to grow. The 3-song demo was so good and it left you wanting more and now we finally have it!
Convicted is 7 tracks, about 20 minutes of solid hardcore. It has that raw feel that good hardcore should have, less time spent on over-producing the sound and more time conveying the passionate energy these kids have. The mix is pretty good although at some points the vocals can get a bit lost, but that’s usually before the gang vocals come with full-force to support singer Kyle Fesmire’s message. These songs are going to be crazy live, get your Kung-fu kicks ready!
The EP opens with the “Goliath”, an honest look at the problems in our lives and the reality that we all feel a bit overwhelmed at times. The track starts off great, but after about a minute the tracks falls into a bit of a musical intro/interlude. It seems a bit early in the EP for a break in my opinion. After the first song the second track “Convicted”, brings you back to what you came for. Probably the best song of the collection with a message of hope, a song to bring people together combined with the urgency of the chorus “We are convicted and we will prevail!”
Next up is another interlude track, “Forgiven”, which may have inserted here to give you a second to reflect on the truth already spoken by Dependency, or maybe to give you a second to catch your breath before the album really picks up. The next two songs come from the 3-song demo, “Ready For Conflict” and “Fragile”. Once again Dependency’s ability to craft a hardcore song is apparent, taking cues from bands like Strongarm and Verse with the speed and breakdowns in each song. These two tracks are very solid, I’m glad they carried them over from the demo. The vocal style really reminded me of Life In Your Way with their unashamed confessions of failure and their outspoken faith in Christ, they don’t leave any doubt where they stand and what they want to accomplish.
This EP was mixed by Jay Maas who has also worked with other hardcore bands like Verse, Have Heart, Defeater and Shipwreck, and Dependency has the sound and feel to lineup with any of those bands. The last real hardcore track on the album, “Vultures, Scavengers”, is the first track where you find a little darker sound. Previous songs feature an honest and optimistic, hopeful theme, while “Vultures, Scavengers” paints a picture of becoming overrun with guilt, and how the Vultures “…circle my head, waiting for me to fail again.” But Dependency isn’t here to bring everyone down, they’re here to lead and the last line of the song; “I find my oasis in God.” Is letting everyone know what you need in your darkest hour.
The last track, “Decay”, is a slow-moving song, plodding along with ambient guitars and stripped down drumming. Not really a favorite of mine but it’s a nice contrast to the rest of the EP, and good ending track with a dark feel and almost eerie effect. It feels like the main theme of Convicted is confessing that this life is tough, there are going to be struggles and failures, but “These giants are but specks before my God”.
OVERALL, I’m really encouraged by Convicted. Dependency hasn’t been around for a whole year yet but already they’re making a name for themselves. This EP might be a little tough for listeners who don’t have an ear for hardcore, with it’s grittiness and tough sound, but the message of hope is a message for everyone. Each listen to Convicted is an aggressive onslaught of passionate hardcore music that will prompt you to get back on your feet and put your hope in Christ!