Angst The Liner
by Trevor Portz
Hailing from Crawley, UK, best known for birthing Goth icons The Cure, comes 4-piece metal/rock band Angst. Though their name may bear some resemblance to the aforementioned group’s lyrical content, luckily the similarities end there. Angst instead play a blend of rock, metal, and perhaps a little punk, as showcased on their second EP, 2009′s The Liner.
Following the three-song format of their previous EP, Fantastic, from 2006, The Liner features a hat-trick of new, original tracks, each showcasing a different facet of the band’s diverse style. Opening track, “Cruise Liner,” kicks off with a guitar riff reminiscent of Devin Townsend in both structure and tone. This super-catchy bit pops up throughout the song, and instantly digs its way into the listener’s brain, destined to stick there for many days to come. Though this riff may be the most memorable, the rest of the song more than lives up to its standard, featuring chunky rhythms and punk-like vocals, resulting in a power-chord fueled metal anthem. The dual-lead break is simple and melodic, and details the band’s taste for harmony.
The second track, “Running,” shows a very different side of the band, as it is a slower, more radio-friendly track somewhat reminiscent of “When the Wall Came Tumbling Down” from Def Leppard’s On Through the Night. It features some nice vocal harmonies, though the lead vocals feel a bit weak, and would have benefited from the vocal approach used on the other two tracks.
“Darkness Rising” closes the EP by getting back to the heaviness that started everything off. A piano intro complete with a Priest-esque double lead gives way to groovy heaviness topped off with Hetfield-inspired vocals. A flashy yet tasteful solo by lead guitarist Liam O’Brien drifts into another double lead break, and the abrupt ending leaves the listener hoping for a fourth track. But alas, the EP is over as quickly as it began, only serving to build anticipation for the follow-up.
The Liner is still a bit rough at times, but is an excellent introduction to a talented British band who will no doubt achieve great things if they keep on doing what they’re doing and manage to navigate the slowly dying music industry. Anyone lucky enough to take a ride on their “Cruise Liner” will be anxious to see where it takes them.
Liam O’Brien (vocals, lead guitar)
Mikko Figura (rhythm guitar)
Nicky Moynihan (bass, backing vocals)
Matt O’Brien (drums)
1. Cruise Liner
3. Darkness Rising
Hardrock Haven rating 7.9/10