Rock and metal have always been genres that empower us to confront problematic elephants-in-the-room that can otherwise be uneasy to face. Wellington artist My Own Treachery’s debut EP ‘In Spite’ diligently follows this tradition.
7 Over 4 kicks the four-track EP off with a full-on metal sound straight from the get-go, the whole band coming in at once to build a steady, powerful groove that picks up when the distorted, gritty vocal fry style singing joins in and blends with the thrashy, chunky guitars. As the track develops into the chorus, a clean guest vocal feature from Dene Patton offers a narrative contrast to the screams. However, sonically it seems to struggle slightly to gel with the rest of the track from sounding ‘thinner’ than the other elements, this disparity more pronounced in the outro alongside the guitar lead in isolation.
The track spices up with rhythmic variation and syncopation, as well as an atmospheric shift in the bridge, with strings and piano paired with punchy drums and guitar solos by the second half of the song. This pattern of solidly establishing a core sound and expanding on it through other elements runs across the other songs in the EP, cementing 7 Over 4 as the ideal representative track to open with.
The EP’s title track, In Spite, follows a similar musical pattern to 7 over 4, including the track’s subtle dynamic twists and turns. This time however the chorus clean vocals from Randy Pasquarella, of New York band If I Were You, mix well with the distorted vocals, an emo/ pop punk influence coming across clearly throughout the performance and providing a unique dimension to the track.
With Fallen, which features Paul Stewart, the focus is on musicianship and the arrangement of the individual components. As strings and piano give off a melodic and sombre atmosphere across the song, the pumping drums propel it forward energetically with a variety of beats controlling the movement through each section. Guitar tones are even more varied with the chorus effect being introduced in the quiet spots alongside the playing, with trading guitar solos in the outro.
Fallen, Part 2 hints at My Own Treachery’s personal struggle that has lyrically been running throughout the EP coming to an end. As Fallen (Part 1) let the instruments take more centre stage than the previous two songs prior, the development into a purely instrumental track works naturally. The calmer nature of Part 2 invites the listener to bathe in the vast sonic ocean the track gradually builds up, and to pay closer attention to how individual elements, including new textures such as synth swells and the crisp clean guitar tone, all assemble together to bring the EP to a cinematic and triumphant close.
The DIY production vibe stands out as the highlight at the end of this concise EP, along with the flow of the four tracks. My Own Treachery (the work of Ricky Hunt) shows everything they have to offer, successfully taking listeners on a comprehensive musical trip that unfolds smoothly in the span of the four songs.