Better Than Mending – The ‘Treatments’ EP.
The Bristol brewed Better Than Mending can be said to be taking the crooning emotional vocals and heartfelt lyrics of the solid but indeed very emotional early 2000’s and re-invigorating them via the modern day Post-Hardcore and Melodic Hardcore scenes.
Before we move on though, here are some dated and influential names that may well come to mind upon the opening notes and verses of ‘Solitary’: Finch, The Used, Funeral For A Friend, Glassjaw… you get the idea.
The constant juxtaposition of the vocal output between a sombre more emotional-led stylistic and a strained and cathartic scream is taken further by a cutting accent that I was personally very taken back by.
Having met vocalist James Pritchard personally and then having heard his voice on recording, I’ll profess to be pleasantly surprised. Pritchard’s voice is from the voice box of a man trained as a drummer and all I could do in this state of shock was focus on his strong southern-English accent that not only drives his own contrasts between sombre and harsh, but also that of the band as a unit.
Despite Better Than Mending have their vocal position filled and filled more than adequately, said tirade would not stand without the Post-Hardcore behind it. Although not particularly ground-breaking, the ensemble you are met with carries the uneven (but on-point) Post-Hardcore time changes and melodic but sharp guitar lines conjoined with the emotion conveyed through the vocals.
Touche Amore would be a strong comparison on a contemporary scale, as although Better Than Mending don’t take the Punk and Hardcore bite of their contemporaries, the intensity and catharsis are still very well met.
‘(Self) Prescribed’ in its early stages carries a more easy-listening structure somewhere on the Emo/Alternative Rock scale but as you have just listened to the previous track, you are aware of how long this will or rather will not last.
With this second track the point is again drummed home on the back of cutting vocals that may not be the most aggressive on-set from the softer croons but in their jagged yelps have nothing to hide.
‘(Self) Prescribed’ is actually very teasing. In this track and arguably the first, Better Than Mending tease the listener with soaring guitar-leads and a less intense rhythm section on to the complete opposite. It’s in this almost constant contrast where the screamed vocals find far more of a home atop a far more driven but sadly very short pummelling climax.
As much as there’s a joke in this criticism, depending where you are stood said comment is itself precarious. Why? Well bar the band’s two-track demo from 2016 that will be linked below, their recorded work is still in it’s infant stages.
And in these stages Better Than Mending have offered us room to ponder their sound while they likely do the same. Ambiguity aside, Treatments is a strong release and will likely please fans of the aforementioned dated acts as much as contemporaries Touche Amore, Pianos Become The Teeth and more.
Treatments together with its predecessor are the solid foundation, so heres to the house yet to be built.
Find the band below:
- For updates, head to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Better Than Mending’s music to date can be found on bandcamp.