Welcome Home - Overcast
Record Label: None
Release Date: January 1, 2008
If you like thrash metal that causes your ear drums to blister, and if you like screamo and loud, noisy shrills that resonate like a choir of fingernails scraping across a blackboard, then you are sure to get a blitz out of Welcome Home’s latest release Overcast. Overcast is a four track EP that highlights what makes the music from the foursome of Welcome Home so hair standing. Hailing from the straight laced, suburban town of Montclair, New Jersey, Welcome Home must be the town’s wayward sheep going off in a direction completely off kilter from the conventional ways of the hamlet. There is nothing conventional about Welcome Home’s razor sharp tunage, and even when they roam into more melodic sounding keys in the instrumental track “Crooked Spines,” they still tamper with derivatives of prog rock and experimental punk, though they actually start to sound human here, albeit hot tempered humans.
Band members Renee Ruth (guitar), Daryl Shelton (bass), Patrick Tooni (drums), and Justin Catania (lead vocals and lyricist) display their skills as excellent seamstresses in “Crooked Spines” with hard rock riffs liken to Connecticut’s prog rock artisans Bushwhack and the symphonic ascensions reminiscent of Dream Theater. But when Welcome Home turn up their instruments into a barrage of dissonant registers with thrashing momentum, they reach the rabid shrills and screamo pitch of Fear Factory and Norma Jean on tracks like “Here I’ll Stay,” “Tour de Force,” and “Things Change.” They create a perfect storm scenario in these tracks where all the ideals of a hell-raising atmosphere is met.
Catania’s lyrics resound like diatribes, particularly in “Tour de Force” when he declares, “I know I’m not the only one who sees these inconsistencies in the punk rock mentalities / Of those who talk community, camaraderie, and equality / Yet can’t remember that it’s not about our individual egos / It’s a chance to be ourselves, to not be judged, to be set free / But now the fire once inside my eyes has been reduced to a few gasping embers / And I didn’t think I’ll ever sing along to another punk rock song.”
The band sounds disenchanted with the punk rock scene, so rather than joining them, they are forging their own path. Welcome Home’s EP, Overcast, is thrash-metal to a mega-force power. Who knew that Montclair, New Jersey’s youth had such rage and angst? It is certainly an eye-opening EP.