The latest offering from Speaker finds the band finding a comfortable space between grimy, dense hardcore and grinding experimental metal. A sense of exigency floods the young Whitby, Ontario group's songwriting throughout EP Murder and Create, most prominently paraded during the blasting percussion of "Cocoon" and guitarist Matt Flannigan's panicky riffs in "Catch 22."
While Speaker exhibit a creative maturity throughout the EP, the group find their way back to massive metallic breakdowns (see: "Conscious Sleep") that are both ferocious and accessible — an outcome comparable to early output from the Chariot and Code Orange Kids.
The engineering by Scott Middleton (of Cancer Bats fame) is generally positive, but vocalist Liam Sibley's vocal layering can sometimes be overbearing, while drummer Marc-Anthony Pellegrino's drum tone comes across a tad thin.
Yet, the two have a notable musicianship that transcends recording quality. Final track "Eve" is the band's moment of lengthy, brooding introspection. What's done in over six minutes here could have been done in three, but isn't particularly damning to the EP; the generally impressive energy that Murder and Create contains should distinguish Speaker in the Canadian music scene as providers of compelling metalcore. (Independent)