Sierra Leone - Moving Forward Label: Unsigned
Release Date: July 21st, 2009
Introducing San Diego's Sierra Leone is burdensome. It would be easy to focus on their outstanding musicianship, crystalline vocals, or the intriguing artwork they have chosen for their aptly titled first EP, Moving Forward. Though these qualities stand in the forefront of perception, there is something in the band's sound that states that this is merely a palatable starting point to which the Emo/Core scene can progress from. With haunting vocal melodies atop soaring, reverb intensive guitar lines it is ieasy to draw comparison to Circa Survive or The Mars Volta. Add Mike Drysland's frantic, near perfect drumming and steadfast bass lines to create a balance that many bands strive for.
Moving Forward is a short, complex introduction to Sierra Leone that features three tracks. “Under The Radar” features diligent guitar work by Dennis Rhode. Between emphasizing rhythms to steer the intensity of the song he carefully creates an ambiance along with vocalist Chris Curd that perplexes the senses. On “This Paradox” a more common song structure and prominent vocals create a more radio-friendly atmosphere complete with Prog-rock rhythmic hooks and steadfast beats when necessary. Subtle transitions to triplets that lead to the chorus break the driving force of the song just to build it up again. This type of delicate integrity ends just as the most poignant and brutal number of Moving Forward begins. Half-singing, Half-screaming vocals announcing “You forgot the rest of us!” broadcast the beginning of “Woa Is Me” with a fervor displayed with an acute intensity worthy of its musical accompaniment. Assertive from start to finish, this is the rock anthem worthy of replacing any song in the Saosin catalog post Translating The Name.