Photos by Curt Stanley, Intagram @curtsphotography
Having released their first EP, ‘The New Era’ at the start of last year, played shows with the likes of WSTR and Slaves, and been through a few line-up changes, Liverpool-based From Inside have not disappointed with their second EP, ‘When I’m Breathing Without You’. They have just finished a successful EP launch tour of the UK and plan to tour early next year. It’s streaming now (14th September), so if this sounds like it’s for you, give it a digital spin!
With no time to waste on this five-song EP (six if we include the bonus track, but we’ll get to that later), the lads get straight to the point from the first track, ‘Helpless’. After a very short piano introduction, we are thrown into a sound reminiscent of ‘The New Era’, as ex-vocalist Nick Stirrup’s vocals kick in with a bouncy chorus, before a verse which starts off calm to lead up to Simon Mora’s powerful unclean vocals and slower, heavier riffs than the chorus would allow for. The breakdown on this track hits hard and is focused on Mora’s uncleans, and is complimented with some subtle electronic sounds and record scratches towards the end. The lyrics follow a failed relationship and the feeling of helplessness that often comes with such situations. This is evident in the video the bend released for this song a month ago, which, by the way, is pretty fucking sick.
Secondly, we move onto ‘Before I Leave’. Hold tight, lads, because I’ve got a lot to say about this track. Synth-heavy and with undoubtedly the strongest breakdown on the EP, ‘Before I Leave’ has been performed by the band already at countless shows, and it was always memorable. When the video and the lyrics were released, however, a lot more fans connected to it (being honest, I was almost brought to tears). The song seems to deal with the theme of suicide, starting with Mora’s cleans: ‘I know this can’t be the only way and I should feel against it’, whilst the video sees him attending his own funeral and seeing how his death has affected his bandmates. (It’s like the saddest, most metalcore Scrooge film that never existed.) After he realises it’s his own funeral and we hear a very intense breakdown, the final chorus ties this whole song together perfectly. On a serious note, this song reminds listeners how much they have left to do in life, which may be well needed within the scene as mental health is stripping us of friends and idols alike.
The most layered song on the EP, the title track, ‘When I’m Breathing Without You’ certainly packs a punch, with piano, synths, catchy vocal runs, uncleans, and a lot of focus on the instrumentation. Tom Booth’s guitar shines through at the end, complimented by record scratches, and George Collings’ drums are certainly not lost amongst the layers, particularly standing out when paired with the clean vocals. This song also deals with mental health but focuses on the isolation and feelings of loneliness it can cause, with the bridge describing a breaking point as the lyrics turn to the idea that we must change our own lives instead of waiting for our lives to change us.
In ‘You & I’, it’s hard to ignore the band’s nu-metal influences. And why would you want to? The small amount of rapping in this track is not out of place amongst the Linkin Park-esque guitar and electronic sounds. However, unlike many nu-metal inspired bands, the sound is made fresh with a more modern hardcore feel, something I believe is only carried out successfully by one other modern band – New York’s Sylar – so it’s exciting to see these influences also hit the UK scene.
‘I Need To Feel Alive’ sounds both electronic and orchestral, as both elements follow the emotional clean and unclean vocals which describe feelings of hopelessness and tiredness. With no clear message, the lyrics seem to simply serve as an outlet of emotions which can hopefully be relatable to fans so that they feel less alone in their own struggles. Less musically heavy in most parts, this song was still well-received at the Liverpool gig (on the release tour for this EP) as the simple piano melody carried the verses through and emotional vocals finished it off.
This brings us nicely to the bonus track, ‘Tearing At The Seams’. Released on YouTube and streaming services at the turn of last year, this was From Inside fans’ first chance to hear Mora’s clean vocals which led into this EP, but in a familiar song, as this is a slow piano version of ‘Find My Way’ from ‘The New Era’. Again, this was well-received at the Liverpool gig where Mora sang some of this before being joined by the rest of the band for ‘Find My Way’, which always goes down a treat.
As From Inside are experimenting more, they are developing more of an identity which sets them aside from other bands. This could mean they can cut through the noise and move onto big things, so watch this space.