After fiery beginnings, Divide embrace the embers and look to spark a name for themselves.
After numerous line-up changes and, recently, a name change, it’s safe to say that starting out as a band wasn’t exactly a smooth process for this Glaswegian quintet. Crucially, after forming in 2014, the band recruited Nicole Mason as their new vocalist. To the naked ear, the vocals are most probably the make or break of a band and their appeal to the listener. Furthermore, amongst the newer recruits of the outfit sits guitarist, Connor Macleod who was formerly honing his craft in the now split, Yashin. These additions would suggest that the current line-up is surely the strongest that it’s ever been – now, it’s time for Divide to knuckle down and show us what they’re made of.
Embers opens at a blistering pace, with the tenacious introduction of Before I Go forcing even the more passive listeners to sit the fuck up and listen. The verse maintains an authoritative tone with decisive stabs from the rhythm guitar, all the while we are greeted for the first time to Mason’s vocals. Confidently swooning atop of the instrumentation, the vocals here add a layer of elegance to the otherwise agitated song – smooth yet assured and full of bite when necessary – Mason is undoubtedly at the crux of this band’s sound. This is very much a notion that carries throughout the EP – the vocals are commendably consistent – not to mention that a Scottish accent makes everything sound cooler. Fact.
Last Words follows the same mould as the song that precedes it. You should appreciate the desire to establish an overall dynamic as a band and, to be honest, you can get away with the occasional ‘samey’ song on an EP this early on. However, the importance of differentiation should never be underestimated – as an audience we are so fickle and as soon as we become complacent with what we’re listening to we will disengage. The verse of Sink This City also has the potential to fall victim to this notion, however, it is ultimately saved by a killer chorus. For clarity, as standalone songs these two tracks work just fine, but when experienced side by side in quick succession, it feels as though we are listening to something that we’ve already heard.
The remaining two tracks, Catalyst and Embers are the highlights. The former was recently released as a single and it’s not hard to see why – an infectious riff and a vocal performance that exhibits all of Mason’s strengths are present at the start of the song. We are then thrown into a powerhouse of a chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place in an arena setlist, accompanied with the classic ‘hey’ gang vocals, this is an early indicator of just how accomplished Divide could be when it comes to spinning a banger. The titular and final track of Embers is all about the riff – it’s a proper old-fashioned headbanger and makes for what is, arguably, the track that’s most likely to provoke an audience into a frenzy.
Embers is a stellar EP, and certainly shows signs of a band that has the potential to go on and achieve a fair deal of success. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on them, and you should too.