An eerie canopy of distorted guitar and static vocals contorts in a titanic intro on Suitor’s debut release. The group, somehow more amorphous than its music, has no discernible social media or even a Bandcamp page, so it’s a mystery how I first caught wind of this release. Nonetheless, there’s something special about the mystery here – I’m reminded of Triple Crown’s Holy Fawn, with their foreboding shoegaze-meets-metal sound to some degree.
Suitor doesn’t share too much common blood with this sound, largely opting for a more standard indie/post-hardcore sound – but the opening combo of “Folklore” and “Deep Sleep” would have you convinced otherwise. It’s distorted, dissonant, and heavy. And while the vocals are much clearer than Holy Fawn’s reverby howls, there’s still an intensity here in the form of background shouts.
But “Simple Math” moves in another direction completely, opting for 80s-esque guitar lines and more of an arena rock vibe. “Deep Sleep” could easily be classified as punk, but “Simple Math” doesn’t venture much further than “rock”. It’s solo-heavy and anthemic but it’s also a very odd change of pace.
“Hands Off” retains the melodic force of “Simple Math” but drifts in yet another direction. It rests comfortable under the umbrella of emo-rock. It’s more refined than “Simple Math” and more melodic than “Deep Sleep”, putting it right in the middle of Suitor’s dynamic spectrum. However, that’s not a bad thing – “Hands Off” is a very palatable track.
The EP closes on “Creature”, which sits in a very similar spot with “Hands Off”. It’s another instrumental highlight.
Folklore would be a divisive EP on its own if we were to consider its subtle over-promising but the lyrics don’t help all that much to compensate. They seem to read like slightly more thought out relational clichés, and while Suitor plays in a style where lyrics tend to be second nature, this still works against them. Don’t get me wrong, there are much worse lyrics out there. But when an EP already feels somewhat disjointed, I’d love for some point of redemption to excuse some of the other elements.
All in all, Folklore is a decent EP. It feels well-produced and the band is talented – their stylistic inconsistencies actually reinforce this point. The biggest loss to Folklore is certainly the lack of cohesion, but the group certainly show promise as they delve into disparate sounds like punk and melodic indie – I’d just like to see some more continuity with any of these styles. It really did feel like a bait-and-switch scenario after the first two tracks and I would have enjoyed if the whole EP had stuck with that vibe. But for a first release, it’s definitely a good start and a few tweaks would really put Suitor in the running for a very solid next release.