Friday 9 October 2020

Rayleigh - Rayleigh

Labels: Self-Released/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Digital/Tape

Release Date: 21 Oct 2013(Digital)/06 Aug 2014(Tape)


1. Coming To Terms With Being Born An Ape

2. Archauthoritarians

3. Scaffolding

4. Drones

5. Rust

6. Backwaters

It seems so peaceful this morning. It's almost the end of my week off and I'm going out with some friends later, which is a rare occurrence given the current situation and one I'm really looking forward to. You have to have things to look forward to now otherwise you'll likely go mad. You also have to have music to get you through the rest of the time and finding solace in chaotic, fast screamo/hardcore is just one part of that for me. I'm carrying on my Zegema Beach Records review series with this tape from Canadian band Rayleigh (R.I.P). The EP contained on this tape was originally self-released via the band on digital format in late 2013 before ZBR picked it up for a tape release a year later. The tape version is long sold out.

It all starts with bucket loads of feedback and a menacing atmosphere on ‘Coming To Terms With Being Born An Ape’. Rayleigh’s heavy, sludgy hardcore sound is very stirring, joined by passionate screams throughout and a stark spoken-word sample at the end. You expect the tempo to change and with ‘Archauthoritarians’ it does. It’s faster and more off-kilter but you’re never too far away from Rayleigh’s cinematic post-hardcore/sludgy side and while it’s delivered in a more subtle way here, it still adds drama alongside their faster, more violent edge.

There’s a great deal of musical depth on this release and while it’s raw at times, it deserves repeat listens. ‘Scaffolding’ is a case in point. It’s short but there’s still plenty to immerse yourself in. The trebly tones coming from the riffs work so well up against the frenetic drums, bass and vocals. ‘Drones’ contains a mix of breathable instrumental passages and chaotic emo-violence/hardcore verses that intertwine and descent into noisy madness towards the end. It’s a hell of a ride and one of heavier, darker releases from this time period of ZBR. 

Rayleigh shows how they can fit so many textures into short songs on ‘Rust’, which really captures it all. There’s no fluffiness just really good solid hardcore that’s as beautiful as it is destructive. EP closer ‘Backwaters’ is swathed in as much feedback as the EP’s opener and is just as sludgy and slow. This EP really makes me miss those sweaty gigs in small rooms above pubs, where I’d see friends and their bands play bathed in excess smoke from smoke machines. The atmosphere, the rattling of your insides by the percussion, the guitar melodies rising up into your ears and the humanity in their eyes as they scream in your face. 

This whole period in time is tough on everyone but memories of great gigs alongside friends will at least provide some comfort. Before I get to nostalgic, just listen to this EP if you haven’t before and then let me know how it makes you feel.

You can stream and purchase the EP digitally below:-

Rayleigh -

Zegema Beach Records -

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