Solo records are a pretty ambitious thing, unless you’re a virtuoso nut-job genius like Buckethead or Trent Reznor there is a high possibility you’re going to release a shitty half-assed lazy sounding EP or album. So when Sammy Mitchell or as he is know in the music realm Sea Is For Sailors sent me a copy of his EP titled, Forward Forewarn my expectations weren’t set too high especially considering the list of ambitious musical influences that accompanied the mail package. Needless to say I spent the just over 20 minutes running time of this EP listening for even the smallest of fuck-ups and came up empty handed, even after listening to this record for a whole week straight on repeat.
Whether Sammy is shredding his vocal chords in EP opener Forward (Foreword) sounding scarily reminiscent of Every Time I Die’s front-man Keith Buckley or soulfully crooning along in EP closer Forewarn he seems to do it in such a way that you completely forget the fact that this whole EP is just one dude who produced, recorded and played every instrument you hear, this literally sounds like a professional studio band recording.
Forward Forewarn encompasses everything that a good hardcore record should be comprised of; it’s brutal, it’s raw and makes you want to fuck shit up with its sometimes The Dillinger Escape Plan sounding chaotic moments. Sammy has done absolutely everything right which is amazing in itself, self-production is probably one of the most hardest things a musician will face if he or she chooses to venture down that path; perfectly recording yourself on one instrument let alone a whole bunch of them is amazing in itself, even the production is amazing.
The only thing I am concerned about is how a self-produced EP would transition live, could the same passion and feel that Sammy has for this type of music be channelled enough by other artists that this EP would be done the justice it deserves live? It’s an interesting question, but I guess live music (especially hardcore) thrives on not having to be perfect as long as its loud and makes people go berserk in the crowd.
If you’re a fan of Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die, The Dillinger Escape Plan then you need to hear this EP.
Rating: 9 out of 10.