A fitting title, Last Word is the final EP from Edmonton, Alberta’s RAYLEIGH. I read a headline on social media somewhere this week that listening to metal music in the car makes you a worse driver. By that logic, I’d argue that listening to RAYLEIGH while driving would make you want to purposely cause an accident; this is some fucking hardcore shit.
It seems to me that a lot of hardcore/grindcore bands get off on offending people with sound, a sort of shock value or “I can’t believe what I’m listening to” sensation. I undoubtedly experienced this listening to Last Word. “Blood Letter” opens with white noise and feedback before erupting into a kamikaze of blast beats, guitar shredding, and blood boiling screams. Before you can catch your breath, the song’s over; the whole EP’s over for that matter— four songs and under ten minutes. But I guess when you’re playing at what seems around 180/190 BPM there’s a lot happening in those few minutes. “Last Mechanical Art” has a bit of a screamo angle to it. Do I hear Glassjaw maybe? Just as you think you may be getting a handle on RAYLEIGH they change faces, but the commonality throughout the EP is speed!
The technicality is there on Last Word. Being a drummer, I fully respect anyone who can pull off blast beats to a metronome. The same can be said for the guitar parts: the intricacies crammed into these two minute barrages are quite commendable. From a melodic standpoint, I have to tap out though. Throw in the towel; wave the white flag (just trying to get my word count up there). There is not enough on this EP to keep me invested. RAYLEIGH may just be one of those bands you need to see live to appreciate, get yourself thrown around in a circle pit, stage dive, surf that crowd. But chilling here in bed with the headphones on, I’m just not digging Last Word. Maybe if I did PCP…BRB.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Chris Aitkens