EP Review: SOMEWHERE TO CALL HOME Panic Disorder
New York-based nü-metalcore act Somewhere to Call Home consists of vocalist Alex Wheatley with instrumentalists David Scott, Jaddus Blanchard, Tom Rehor, and Chad Sutliff. The band has previously toured with groups including VCTMS, Skyburial, Tetrarch, and Sleepwaker as well as released an LP titled Haunted last year, yet they are now back with a fresh EP, Panic Disorder.
The siren effect fueled instrumental intro track "Panic" combined with the dirty neon artwork gives off a The Purge aesthetic and overall assembles the anxiety-laced, dystopian atmosphere that is consistently omnipresent throughout the following tracks. "Leech" continues this idea as the siren noise previously heard smoothly transitions into sharp riffs that you could imagine a group like Northlane or Lotus Eater incorporating into their bangers. All things considered, this is arguably the most exciting and memorable song on here and accurately establishes what to expect stylistically moving forward.
Although the previously mentioned piece holds gold as the most single-worthy, Somewhere to Call Home are still able to keep the momentum high with "Unwanted," which features Sean Loucks of Animal and a couple of breakdowns certain to warrant fists and feet thrown around in the pit. "Take It Away" and "Disorder" are notable for their dive into a Sworn In influence, both vocally and true to their nü-metalcore dynamic swagger. Additionally, there are some very brief proggy guitar moments in the latter track that stood out. Closer "Are You Happy?" further strengthens a progressive metalcore notion as experimental vocal deliveries, production, and rhythm choices are made.
The group presents moments of trap electronica beats added in a couple of times during this EP to act as a segue or extra layer, which has the potential to add some musical diversity to a composition. And while genre fusion is usually a plus, the beats came off as a bit elementary. Furthermore, the hints of prog here and there on some songs were spectacular, but definitely could have been furthered even more. If both the inclusion of electronic and proggy styles could be beefed up, this EP would hold a lot more variety and pizzazz. Ultimately, this EP's weakness comes down to a lack of variety, which is unfortunate because it's clear that the material holds influence from many different artists and styles, yet they never fully commit to exploring.
In the end, Panic Disorder doesn't fully break any new boundaries but instead builds upon the foundations of other modern metalcore/deathcore trendsetters. I could absolutely see these guys doing really well touring as an opening act for some of the aforementioned groups, particularly Sworn In, Lotus Eater, and potentially a full deathcore/hardcore act like Spite. There are fun breakdowns, slamming riffs, diverse engaging vocals, and, overall, it's an enjoyable experience. Panic Disorder should certainly garner Somewhere to Call Home some deserved attention and fans from today's modern metalcore scene, but hopefully, we will see a greater sense of stylistic and songwriting exploration from them in the future.