From Safety to Where

Irreversible Trend

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Though their name betrays a fondness for Joy Division ("From Safety to Where" being one of the Manchester group's obscure singles), the influence of Ian Curtis has little sonic bearing on the group's brand of nervous, chattering hardcore. Eric Greenwood's voice is raw and desperate, and he screams out his bleak verse over twisty guitar lines and Jay Hubbels furious, thumping percussion. In songs like the album-opening "Irreversible Trend," this combination is brutal and arresting. Erratic time signatures jerk the song forward and back like a roller coaster gone haywire, and the songs seem possessed by a spectacular urgency. As long as they are mining this desperation, From Safety to Where can do no wrong. They incorporate a ghostly synth line into "Static," letting it hover like mist before the song erupts into a neurotic Wall of Sound, serrated guitars cutting a giant path for Greenwood's voice. But these moments are undone by songs like the self-consciously math rock "Monument," in which Walters barks verse over a riff that sputters like a dying lawnmower. It is clear that From Safety to Where wants to separate themselves from the teeming mass of hardcore bands currently clogging up Hot Topics across America, but they aren't completely certain yet how to do it. While the debut finds them trying their hand at turning dread into aggression, it is too ordinary too often to warrant unqualified praise.

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