When Sparks Fly - We Who Are About To Die (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

When Sparks Fly

We Who Are About To Die (2003)

Nice Guy

Four guys from Dayton, Ohio with their debut 7-song EP for Nice Guy Records.

Their sound is pretty tough melodic punk, where the gritty guitars surely are the best and most important reason why you should check them out. There's plenty of nice riffs, mixed up with melodic hardhitting chords and even an occasional solo. There's where I can still follow why the bio refers to bands like Recover and Hot Water Music. But the bio also mentions Alkaline Trio, and according to me there's not much to be found of that in their songs, except maybe for the little tingle-tangle guitar in the opening song "Finding The Weapons Of Self Destruction". There is the occasional tempo-dropping in many of these songs, but it's not like there's a wink to emo or anything. It's just some sort of preparation for the next tougher part of a song. Actually I often thought early No Use For A Name would be a good band to refer to, because they also had this power to pull out a melodic nice riffy song that was still full of power.

There's 2 vocalists in this band. As usual you got the more gruffy guy combined with the more melodic voice of the other. Fortunately neither of them has these high-pitched vocals, because that would have certainly been misplaced here. I wouldn't say the vocals are what makes this music this good, it's just solid, though unclean singing. Occasionally I thought they even tended to go out of tune, like in "Something Better", but it's nothing annoying really.

The absolute best song on this EP has to be "Moving Out, Moving On" because of that incredible nice guitar at the back in the chorus; although it's a simple looping guitar it goes damn nice with these dual vocals that accompany it. Maybe it's the most redundant of the 7 songs, but the energy that it embodies is really phenomenal I think and it will have you humming along in no time. There's plenty good songs on top of this one, although I could perfectly have done without the closing acoustic song. Well, it's just a one and a half minute finisher of a perfectly hard-driven EP with good tempo-changes, so I can live with that. You can definitely pick this one up if you're looking for something that has power combined with refined melodic guitars. The mediocre vocals are tucked away cleverly under a multi-vocal blanket.