Over The Top - Community (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Over The Top

Community (2011)

self released

A big sound with plenty of chunky melodic hardcore, that's what East Canada's Over The Top deliver on this five track EP. I'm getting a sort of Strike Anywhere/Movielife vibe here but it also had me reaching for my Heckle albums too. It's well-produced and full of energy, featuring strong vocals and guitars that provide a punchy, driven quality throughout.

There are some decent group style vocals that fit in nicely and the pace of the tracks is varied enough to keep the momentum up. Saying that, the five songs do have a slight tendency to run into each other a bit too easily for my liking (I appreciate that with the opening two, "The Search for Lauren Kelly" and "11 Wexford," this is a deliberate choice). It does take repeated listens to be able to discern the individual tracks as opposed to them blending together as happened on the first half dozen plays. However, that is a minor criticism and musically, the overall package here is one of consistency.

With guitars and vocals to the fore, it is easy to ignore the rhythm section, but both drums and bass provide a modest structure for the more obvious elements of the band to shine.

Again, it is noticeable that in these days of advanced technology it is not difficult to get a sound that is clean and crisp. Often that leaves a record coming across as too sterile and also a bit sedentary, but here Over The Top has avoided such a pitfall. Although well-produced, Community is clearly not overly done. The end result is a decent EP, featuring a band with bags of enthusiasm and some equally upbeat songs, the pick of which being "Summer Ahn!" and "Monument."

Whilst not being the greatest thing I've heard this year it's certainly one that will stay on my mp3 player rather than be part of the irregular cull of review material that takes place. I'd certainly be interested to hear more from this band to see how they progress.

This is currently available via the band's Bandcamp page but apparently a physical version will be soon on the market too.