Music Reviews

“An Impressive Return To Form” – EP Review: Against the Current – ‘fever’

Gemma Cockrell

Pop-rock trio Against the Current’s new EP ‘fever’ is their first project since their sophomore record, 2018’s ‘Past Lives’. Despite that LP leaning heavily towards the pop side of the pop-rock genre, ‘fever’ sees them shifting towards the opposite end of the spectrum, exploring heavier rock-inspired elements, and taking their sound to a new level.

Their 2018 record ‘Past Lives’ was slightly disappointing – it had some great cuts such as Personal and I Like The Way, but overall the album succumbed to the common downfall of pop-rock albums: it was too much pop, and not enough rock. Vocalist Chrissy Costanza explained herself; “Toward the end of the [Past Lives] era, we realized it’s time to go back to our roots. It’s time to go back to what made the band what it is in the first place.”

The lead single, that won’t save us, is a moody, explosive, guitar-charged rock banger. It is driven by fast-paced, energetic drums, over which Costanza’s powerful and commanding voice soars. These towering vocals in the chorus juxtapose her soft, gentle, and pure-sounding vocals on the verses and the bridge, demonstrating her impressive versatility and making the chorus stand out and hit even harder.

This continues on the follow-up single weapon, where every instrument on the track including Costanza’s voice are as passionate and powerful as they possibly could be, as she discusses her mental health battle that has amplified in recent years. She takes responsibility for her failed relationships, acknowledging that she is the one who has burnt bridges in the past.

The lyrics of again&again similarly address mental health, with Costanza personifying her mental health struggles as “ghosts” and “monsters”. The only feature on the EP is guardin, who contributes to the bridge of the track. Despite coming from completely different genres, collaboration with an emo-rap artist works successfully for the band, with guardin showing off his singing vocals to fit the song perfectly.

jump discusses the importance of sometimes being selfish, and making the decisions that are best for yourself. On the chorus, Costanza’s compelling vocals soar, demanding the listener’s attention to the important and encouraging message of the track. On 2015’s Brighter, Costanza admitted “I want something more, a life worth fighting for”, and six years later, on jump, it appears that she has reached out and made that life possible for herself.

Despite it [shatter] being the most slow-paced moment on the project, it still oozes with Costanza’s empowerment and inner strength

shatter represents a slight change in tone, as the most understated and lowkey moment on the EP. It is a rock ballad, where Costanza speaks of a former partner who seems to want her more than ever now she is no longer in his life. Despite it being the most slow-paced moment on the project, it still oozes with Costanza’s empowerment and inner strength, characteristics that define ‘fever’ as an EP even when Costanza is speaking of her deepest struggles and demons.

Fire is frequently used as symbolism across the visuals and artwork for the EP, and this filters into the lyrics on the penultimate track burn it down. However, burning things down isn’t portrayed negatively here. Instead, it seems to be a freeing and liberating act, separating yourself from things from the past you have outgrown and allowing a move forward to a better future.

The final track lullaby was interestingly an initial idea of Bring Me The Horizon’s Jordan Fish. Costanza then went on to write the track alongside Fish and his fellow bandmate Oliver Sykes. A collaboration that Costanza describes as a “dream”, the three talented musicians come together to craft the perfect closer for the EP.

A nostalgic nod to the band’s origins and early work

It’s refreshing to hear the trio fully exploring their rock potential. They demonstrated this potential on 2015’s rock-infused ‘Gravity’ EP, and on ‘fever’ fans are able to experience a heavier side of Against the Current for the first time in a while, with Costanza’s feisty and fiery persona shining through just as it did on tracks such as Talk and Fireproof in 2015. It feels like a nostalgic nod to the band’s origins and early work, representing an impressive return to form for Against the Current. The band sound at their best when they fully embrace the rock elements of their sound.

five stars

Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Justin Higuchi via Wikimedia Commons Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @againstthecurrent via No changes were made to these images.

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