Review by Nick Manduley

November 18, 2020

New Jersey post-hardcore quintet With Sails Ahead independently released their newest single “In Fear and Loathing” on November 12th. The single is the band’s first release since 2018’s Morning Sun EP.

In Fear and Loathing” is an upbeat track that shoots right out of the gate with the musical prowess of guitarists Josef Warner-Reyes and Santino Costa; this is not much of a surprise however, considering the face-melting solos and infectious licks the duo brought on Morning Sun. Bassist Jaime Martinez holds down the rhythmic low-end alongside drummer Ryan Venancio, who brings his innovative and unique drumming style into the track.

Frontwoman Sierra Binondo gives an electrifying vocal performance on “In Fear and Loathing.” The captivating verse harmonies give way to a catchy chorus melody that is bound to stick with the listener. The lyrics deal with Binondo’s struggles with anxiety and feelings of helplessness; surely a topic many will relate to after this absolute shitstain of a year.

In Fear and Loathing” sees somewhat of a stylistic departure from the Morning Sun era. The band’s first two EPs, Open Letters and Years in Waiting, were largely post-hardcore in style; Morning Sun saw the band lean into their progressive and japanese rock influences a bit more. “In Fear and Loathing” arguably leans into the post-hardcore side of their sound a bit more, but I’m hesitant to say it’s a return to the style of their mid-2010s releases— because it really isn’t. “In Fear and Loathing” certainly draws on both eras, but suggests a trajectory towards a sound that is more refined and unique. In any case, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye (and an ear) out for With Sails Ahead are they barrell into a glorious new era.

Listen to "In Fear And Loathing"

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Nick Manduley is an aspiring music journalist and musician from Bradley Beach, NJ. He is currently an intern at Relix Magazine where he helps produce and curate online content. Since 2016, he has provided guitars and vocals for the local punk band Drive, Kid. Drive, Kid released an EP and a full length album in 2018, and are currently recording their sophomore LP.

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