Though I’ve no idea who Furious George are, the Melbourne band seem to have been getting happily around the scene under my radar.  Sharing stages in support of bands like Belle HavenPridelands, and Foxblood, the heavy band have delivered new music this week. Their sophomore EP Paralysis landed on Monday and they hit us up to check it out.  The EP was produced, mixed, and mastered by Christopher Vernon, with engineering by Darcy Handley.

I’m coming in fresh to Furious George and their sound, and am intrigued about what I’ll find. Before I started my review, I saw that the band had posted to Facebook that Paralysis is a release of emotion for them and is intended to be taken in as a whole – so that is what I’ll do, and you can come along with me for the ride.

Somewhat uneasy, “An Iteration” opens the EP with an alarming and uncomfortable atmosphere, sinking desperate vocals behind layers of static.  A deep and throaty blast and erratic instrumentation have it all seem out of control and sinking toward rock bottom. This all happens within the space of one minute.

Flowing directly into “Yeah Nah, Yeah”, intricate riffs combine with brittle cries. A sense of panic is clear, and my attention goes to the guitar-created ‘story’ which sinks and aches along with the questions of “Oh when will it end?”.  Dark of outlook and heavy in confusion, the searing highs and turbulent lows make for a stomach-churning experience. In a more sparse moment with the high riff continuing, it’s nu-metal-esque and eerie, and the instrumentation is capturing my attention more than the bleak vocal contortions that are going on.

After the heavy tension of “Yeah Nah, Yeah”, the instrumental moment around 2:15 is stunning and intriguing. It’s the ‘Oh fuck, is this the end?’ moment with dread and sadness building, culminating in the first chorus-resembling thing of the EP so far.  Fittingly referring to “packaged happiness in a box of 28” with this first appearance of singing, this shift of mood and sound kicked my curiosity up a notch as to what else Paralysis had in store.

And the journey continues, with “The “Patriarch”” pulling us onward into the world of Furious George.  With a haunting melody, and core-jangling strikes, we’re shoved erratically by the song and its frustration of how things have become.  I’m fascinated at the variety of sounds that have been stirred into the EP’s mixing pot even with the first three tracks, with the different flavours enhancing the ever-shifting moods/thoughts.

More hectic of pace and filthy of vocals, we’re digging around in distaste toward the so-called leader that the title refers to, and the percussive strikes are audible punches. Fuller and with a satisfyingly assertive riff then, it’s as if this distaste gains confidence and volume.  This culminates in the gutter scraping lowness of “I want you to suffer” which continues to dig lower and more painfully to the heart of the “coward” in question.

Sitting and enjoying the “I don’t believe in you, you don’t believe in me” section of the song and thinking how this under-the-radar band are actually fucking great, the echoing ethereal bridge kind of broke me. “Anything not to feel this way” it distantly repeats, with the drums forming a wrestling match between escaping and aggressively destroying this person.

I’m practically all-in with this band now, admiring that “The “Patriarch”” has explored what seems basically like ‘I hate my dad’ in a way that feels genuine and has substance to it.  Ending the song with a quest to change what they’re going through, I appreciate this organic shift toward escapism instead of a one-dimensional ‘Fuck you, dad!’ flavour of aggression. Hitting the halfway mark, I’m impressed with Paralysis for more and more reasons.

 

The middle of Paralysis sees Furious George join forces with Pridelands‘ Joshua Cory. If “Strain” follows the same thread of existence of the songs before it, the more sedate song sees us in a post-frustration lull, where that call for escape has become more thoughtful and introspective.

Sung with angst and hope, the shadow of suicide lingers at the sidelines, matching “Strain”‘s shifts between singing and more aggressive yells into the void, and the combination of melodic chimes and deep bass purrs.  When Joshua Cory’s feature shows up, there’s a smooth and polished moment of not wanting to stay stuck anymore.  But the track continues as a sonic tug-of-war between moving forward and remaining the same. The combination of voices beautifully presents this, and its another satisfying moment of Paralysis.

“I’m stuck here drowning alive, and this is just the way of my life.”

The frustration of being stuck bleeds into the more experimentally-tinged “R.E.M”. It features a voice mulling over their life with varying degrees of effects to it.  “When will I reach the bottom?” it asks, and blunt riffage plays out while the eerie fog persists.

As ‘weird’ as this is, I fucking love it. I love that Furious George have gone all-in on an idea and its surrounding emotions and evolved that into sound, with seemingly no affixed rules of genre or structure.  Tumultuously, “R.E.M” throws the listener around, much like the jumble of thoughts that crash around in one’s head while they lay in bed at night, trying to sleep.

With an amusing false start before launching into “Sessions”, I take this second-last track as a peak of tension and anxiousness. With a pace so fast it’s as if the vocals can’t keep up, it’s death by drums and sanity slips away.  Instability rains (and reigns), where the judgemental mind is recognised as being firmly in control.  Thrown around like a ragdoll, the vulnerability is painted by instrumental unease and dissonance – and it RULES.

Rearing up in judgement, this inner voice slaps down and abuses the protagonist. It’s an all-out brawl that’s fascinatingly painted by serrated high notes and runs of syllables.  It’s messy and the listener is thrown from ear to ear in the experience. With guttural lows and punishing heaviness, this is what self-hate sounds like in a nutshell.

While self-hatred isn’t a new concept in heavy music, this is well-crafted in a fully immersive dark world of sound. It’s not just a ticked box in terms of ‘What should we make a song about?’.  With lyrics, vocals, and instrumentation on the same page, Furious George have painted an explorable picture with sound, and I’m seriously fucking impressed.

We’re at the final track, “Ego Death”, and it’s bittersweet to have this EP come to an end.  Exhausted from the adventures before it, the song fittingly kicks home defeatedly with stuttering percussive strikes and eerie mindbending guitar.  Chaotic and wild, the subsequent arrival of a cleanly sung chorus just shouldn’t work, but it does. There’s something endearing here, and the vocalisations/harmonies that rain down work as a ‘This is who I am in all of my flaws’ statement.  Death of the ego indeed.

There’s a ridiculous amount of things going on with “Ego Death” that make it tough to put into words, but I love the shift from wild mess to matter-of-fact clarity, through to on final word in the form of low squealing.

 

Made even better with one eye upon the lyrics, I was pleasantly surprised by getting to know Furious George! I’m not sure who specifically to direct my praise toward, but their ability to share their state of mind in an all-encompassing and congruent way was spot on for me.  Music is feelings turned into sound and this is done brilliantly via Paralysis.  Whether they tore at my ears with hatred and blackenedness of sound, or numbedly questioned their numbness in more melodic ways, Furious George kept my attention and focus.

The lyrics throughout Paralysis came across as genuine to me, and they explored the shadowy realms of their mind with honesty and curiosity.  The sleep paralysis demon artwork and title belies the fact there’s so many shades of emotion and sound going on within the EP.  I was also a bit lost on in terms of how it visually connected with the themes of the EP, but I appreciated that it could make sense with the back and forth ‘conversations’ between two parts of themselves in the music.

Not just ‘another metalcore act’, there’s something great going on here.  Pleased to meet you, Furious George.

 

Furious George - Paralysis
  • EP Rating
    9
The Good

Endearing, captivating, and entertaining. This is an impressive sampler of what Furious George are about, sharing genuine emotion and differing flavours of sound and mood with style. Vibrant despite its heavy subject matter, I already want to listen to this again.

The Bad

"Yeah Nah, Yeah" was offputting as a song title, especially about something serious of subject and mood.

0
910
Kel Burch

Creator and caretaker of Depth Mag, Kel uses her superpowers of empathy, word-weaving, and feeling everything deeply, to immerse herself in music before returning to reality to write about her experience with it. [Loved the read? Shout Kel a latte.]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.