Esprit De Corps Under Constant Influence

On their half-hard, half-dance-y new EP, Denver, CO's Esprit De Corps (or the EDC) experiment with instrumentation and push the boundaries of their post-everything box by favouring big production and using dramatic keyboards for consistent, prominent textures amidst the thick, heavy riffing and vocalist Chris Gardner's throaty bark. The songs tread close to the commercially viable radio sound that Brand New have used in recent years, but there's still just enough discordance (à la hometown heroes Planes Mistaken for Stars) to keep it niche. The old "shouted verse/melodic chorus" dynamic is all over the EP, and it, along with the mostly love-scorned, young lyrics, is probably best suited for angsty bedroom-dwellers, but the earnest-y and skilled song construction offsets any possible alienating impact on the overall package. The elements of this EP come together best on closing track "Forget the Titanic, We Sink Faster," recalling Taking Back Sunday's indulgent emo-boy glory days with a good old fashioned bro-down bridge that leads into a layered, formulaic-but-awesome call-and-response breakdown. (Independent)