Better You Than Me
Swansea, United Kingdom
The newest EP from hard rock band HWDU, ‘Better You Than Me’ is a rolling, rumbling roundhouse kick to the face of passion, musicality and skill. The band has distilled their essence into a collection of songs that play so well together while all sounding unique and individually needed. ‘Better You Than Me’ is Grunge meets modern rock and it is powerful. The band features instrumental melodies that could stand alone, add on the kicking drums and vocal layers, textures and styles that vary from song to song, and you get a band that feels like Stone Temple Pilots meets Clutch. Hold on tight because HWDUs ‘Better You Than Me’ takes no prisoners and it's awesome.
The EP opens with ‘Machine’ a song that starts with a gut-wrenching riff that makes your body move. It keeps up the pace throughout and the drums fill the gaps that are left open by the guitar and bass with masterful precision. The vocals climb into the hard-rock hurricane and blare out a smooth angsty tone that compliments the crunchy guitar, the layers of vox draw the melody over the backing to create a massive sound. The chorus is heavy and catchy and downright beautiful. And that’s just the first song.
The title track is up next and ‘Better You Than Me’ doesn’t disappoint. With a fun opening featuring chanting and some Foo Fighters style clashing drones the song bursts forth into the sound space. A proper feel-good rock song, HWDU come into their own. The verse drops off into a quieter riff fuelled section, leaving behind a massive crashing opening. The subtle build into the chorus makes it feel so welcome when it arrives, bringing back the energy from the start, only this time the vocals are there to push it even further. The crunchier texture to the vocals is awesome, leading us down into Metallica way but with seemingly even more energy behind the band. ‘Better You Than Me’ is a single in a nutshell, showcasing everything the band has to offer whilst still leaving you wanting more which is perfect as we have more up next on the EP.
‘President’ feels the most Clutch, but it doesn’t hide the HWDU charm that we have already come to know and love. It's big, it's brash and it's full of frills from both vocals and the instrumental. Throughout the EP you get a sense of joy and wonder. It feels like the songs were born rather than written and the band are there, proud of what they discovered. This feeling comes across in every song but is very much present here in ‘President’. The song is fun, loud and man does it have a great hook.
Halfway through the EP and I assure you it doesn’t slow down. ‘Squat’ is primal. Shooting bursts of guitar and drums this way and that while the bass and vocal work double time, keeping the song together. It feels like you’re right there with the band, wrestling this song out of the ether and it is an audio spectacle. ‘White Horse’ is great fun. Head-bang to the open, click to the percussion in the verse and shout back to the vocals as they call out. Whatever festival is gifted with a performance of this tune will be glad to have it screaming from a stage. Finishing off the EP is ‘Lotus Eater’, HWDU going slow was never going to be boring, was it. It starts solemn with a wailing guitar, then it builds and builds and builds to the rip-roaring level that we know HWDU can hit and it sings.
‘Better You Than Me’ by HWDU is a grinning, spinning EP full of passion. I cannot praise it enough and I know that for all you rock heads out there, HWDU is a band to look out for. - FREDDIE MCKEE