25 Jun 2024

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Take Hold - EP Review: Stay Down

10 Jun 2024 // A review by Kris Raven

Aotearoa melodic hardcore alumni Take Hold, have returned with brand new music, dropping four of five tracks as a single format prior to the release of their self-produced, 5-track EP entitled Stay Down. This method has fast become the norm in the world of modern music releases and streaming. In a world of throw away, content driven and unfortunately trend bias, so much amazing music gets lost forever in this ever turning machine. However the great thing about these tracks is they stand on their own as single releases and together make for one of hell of combined collection which flow well together.

After the release of 2018/2019's emotionally pummelling Disrepair and 2019 double hitter Mourn/Spiral, the world quickly changed as a whole for several years, but the Auckland four piece are back to lay their mark. I have always found comfort in melodic hardcore, while the traditional elements of hardcore from its early days in Dc to the New York bruisers and all the subs in between, melodic hardcore has always had a massive personal reach and hits the emotional buttons alongside the aggression and passion it delivers.

Opening with Afterthought, an apocalyptic guitar toned riff gradually ascends into building drums and a relentless vocal force, soon gaining momentum until it breaks into full hardcore punk pace before leading us into a crushing breakdown and summarising what is to come. Forfeit; "I hope that we lose, I hope we stay lost" follows suit, a little more jagged, the song swings between all rapid speed and pacing intervals, complete with a melodic and harmonic breakdown.

Harmless, right out the gate, is a fast and destructive track. The vocals are so raw, like a shotgun of power and rage but uplifting and positive. The guitars and vocals carry the melodic edge, the guitars bleed a discordant tone whilst the screamed vocals remain constant but create a perfect harmony. Mosaic; "A cigarette burn on the back of my conscience" brings the RPM down with more of a groove feel but driving the whole time. Rhythmically a stark contrast but both carry the same weight of lyrical and vocal depth with heaviness.

Blush feat guest vocals from ColdxWar offers a vocal dynamic that works really well, combining the lower and mid range screams and yells that blend perfectly. Both vocalists sharing duties back and forward and together, creating a huge impact to an already chaotic back drop. This song shows off a more rhythmic range, and technical diversity. There’s a frantic energy and yet the arrangement is mathematical, with small sub sections constantly changing the path of the track, distorted rumbling bass and off beat on drum passages. "My name is my name"!

Another likely conscious effort, is the epilogue pieces to each song, a connection to the next song coming, changing each track and including ambient guitars, sounds and spoken word. An excellent EP, musically, sonically, lyrically and socially conscious. Be sure to check em out on tour and support your scene.


About Take Hold

Take Hold formed in 2017 are a Melodic Hardcore band based in Auckland, New Zealand. 'Having released their debut EP Disrepair in 2018 quickly followed by a two track Spiral / Mourn, Take Hold have aggressively taken the local scene by storm with their strong lyrics and melodious guitar and bass’ (The Mousai). Comprised of Jai Aronsen on vocals, guitarist Tomas Newbury, Thomas Butler-Ford on bass, and drummer Harris Upham - the quartet have become one of NZHC's stalwarts.

Take Hold have proven their place in the lineage of Aotearoa hardcore, with sold out shows supporting D.R.I. (US), Xile, & Saving Grace as well as festival appearances at Hamtown Smakdown and Deadboy Records Summer of Hardcore Festival. Take Hold are now seeking to make their place in that lineage undisputed, for Aotearoa hardcore and beyond.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Take Hold


Stay Down
Year: 2024
Type: EP
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Mourn / Spiral
Year: 2019
Type: EP

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