The latest EP from the Newcastle-based trio, Ten Eighty Trees, spans five tracks with varied lyrical influences and a myriad of musical styles and inspirations. The main connector of the album’s ideas and lyrics is how art and creativity are boosted and times of struggle and how that makes struggle a necessary evil.
The EP begins with Running Back 2 U, which tells the story of a lover who resents his ex and vows to “never run back to her”. The song is extremely well-produced and sounds like a good amount of work was put into its creation. The song begins with a groovy and uptempo bassline, which is shortly followed by larger-than-life guitars and powerful drums. The song also has one of the catchiest choruses I’ve ever heard, thanks to the amazing lead vocals which are well-spaced and intense. The additional backing vocals serve their purpose well and make the track all the more anthemic and catchy. The second track, THE INCUBATOR, is much heavier and has a darker atmosphere. Thanks to the tone of the guitars, thumpy basslines, and fast-paced drums. The intensity and speech with which they play and the screamy vocals remind me heavily of 2000s Alt. Rock and Nu-Metal. The palm-muted riffs are the best thing here in my opinion, besides the vocalis showing how versatile he is too. The lyrics deal with themes of social anxiety and alienation mindfully and creatively and it’s nothing short of a modern rock masterpiece.
Wear Me Down is a relatively shorter (midtempo) track that discusses being burnt out, and similarly, its sound shows clean guitars in between the heavier distorted ones which conveys feelings of exhaustion and desperation. During the bridge, the lyrics speak of self-reflection and how the person realizes that the pressure the person puts on himself is what wears him down. Never Let U Down (Again) is fiercer and reminds me of 2000s Post-Grunge because of its supercharged bass line and guitar chord progression. The vocals are very unique here and they delve into deeper/lower parts in the chest register and a much higher head voice in the chorus. It’s without a doubt that this vocalist is exceptionally gifted with his wide range but what proves these guys’ total mastery is how they put it to use extremely well and write memorable lead vocal lines with awesome backing segments to put emphasis on them too. The fifth and final track, Can’t Live Twice, brings back the anthemic vibes with its clean guitar chord progression and reverbed vocals. The bass and drums are on point (as expected from Ten Eighty Trees by this point). This song has the best guitars on the whole record for me because of the melodic segment that plays after the verse and the buildup to the chorus.
If you’re looking for great 2000s-alternative inspired guitars, a bassist that plays with precision and groove, and a drummer that plays with pummeling strength, then look no further than Ten Eighty Trees. This EP will most certainly be a major hit, once it gets the promotion it deserves and once these super catchy tracks get played for live audiences.