Reset Code – Here Below – EP Review
It’s gotta feel good to be in Reset Code right about now.
And it’ll feel even better tomorrow, when they officially release their highly-anticipated debut record.
From what I’ve read & found online, the roots of Reset Code trace all the way back to 2015. Based out of Stuttgart, Germany – they put out a handful of tunes on a three-song demo in that same year…and then…well…honestly I’m not all that sure what’s kept them away – but the point is, they’re here now! They’ve somehow managed to survive the test of time, and now they’re officially getting their music out there at long last with a stellar set of six well-crafted cuts on the Here Below EP. Incidentally…for you hardcore fans of Reset Code that have been hanging on since the very beginning of their timeline way-back-when…you’ll be stoked to know the music you’ll be hearing on Here Below is all-new for ya; the three original demos from back in 2015 never made this lineup of six savage tunes on their debut EP. Fair enough – that was indeed some time ago now…it’s time for Reset Code to push on into the future.
Love that combination of slick bass-lines and the atmospheric guitar at the very beginning of “Golden” as the album kicks-in. Joined by slightly whispered vocals and the ticking of hi-hats clickin’ as the song begins to build – that’s just the thing – right from the drop, you’ll hear that Reset Code is instantly on their way to creating an epic first impression on ya, which they certainly succeed in doing through “Golden.” From the vivid harmonies, to the thunderous drumming, and the clever hooks they’ve created both in the music & vocals, the boys from Germany are off to a seriously intense start with “Golden” that will confirm just how locked right in & committed you’ll find the band is to this record. They sound perfectly unified as their EP starts up, and by the time you’re about fifty-seconds in or so, you’ll hear their ability to make a resounding impact through their combined intensity & musicianship – Reset Code leaps out of the gate in attack mode, focused on creating music with powerfully expressive sound, gripping instrumentation, and vocals that continue to provide even more edge to the results. It’s a “Golden” start for the Stuttgart crew in Reset Code, and they continue to keep it “Golden” from here.
Bass-lines from Frank Rothe are scoring big bonus points straight off the bat as we work our way into this record – listen to how much of a role they play in the low rumble & rhythm of the album’s title track. There will be more than a few times where Reset Code reminds me a lot of a band we all love here in Canada, known as Finger Eleven – for those familiar with’em, you’ll find a similarity between them in how they explore melody & heaviness as one, creating purely gripping sound from the most subtle of moments, to the most wildly extreme. “Here Below” was a stellar choice to center this record around and a fantastic representation of the depth & dimension you’ll find in the music of Reset Code as a band overall. Listen to the cleverness you’ll find in the musicianship and how these players are interacting with each other from layer to layer – it’s perfection. From the drums of guest Benjamin Baur being so endlessly reliable, to the combined precision of the core of Reset Code, their EP’s centerpiece hits the mark in every way; whether it’s the music or the vocals, you’ll find they’ve put compelling & captivating ideas into the full length of “Here Below” that’ll have you turning this cut up loud as you can.
With the bone-crunching riffs that start up “Consuming” – it actually sounds like WE are the ones about to be consumed! Reset Code will certainly not disappoint ya in that regard – “Consuming” is a riotous cut stocked & loaded with brilliant twists & turns that lead this band into multiple dimensions of sound. In terms of texture & tone…goddamn…this just can’t be beat! There are some MEATY riffs here that your ears can absolutely chew on…BIG portions too! In many ways, you have to acknowledge that there is a Progressive thread that runs through a bit of the music in Reset Code in addition to the Hard Rock & Alternative heaviness you’ll find…this is adventurous stuff, where the line from point-A to point-B is quite often a superbly jagged & twisted path for us listeners to follow. Songs like “Consuming” combine the best of both worlds in that sense – it’s the longest track on this record at over five-minutes in length, but the reality is right there in front of you; they use the extra time & space to their advantage at every opportunity. The result is “all consuming” sound and a structural journey that expertly weaves together parts that’ll highly satisfy the musicians & creative-types out there listening, with powerful hooks that are just as guaranteed to entertain the masses in wildly accessible ways, with an equal variety of energies on display. So don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that “Consuming” would necessarily make the best choice as a single to put out there – there are perhaps more suitable candidates in that regard – but by that same token, years down the road from now we’ll likely find that this particular cut continues to hold up stronger & stronger as time goes on. Essentially, it’s gonna be tracks like “Consuming” that keep people coming back to repeat this EP; there’s so much on display from the band from the insightful lyricism to be found here, to the all-out gripping intensity in the music, and the way this whole song morphs along the way – it’s ambitious without question, and sticks out as such within this debut lineup of tunes – but make no mistake, they pull this one off with resounding confidence, bold musicianship, & inspired creativity. If you’re asking me personally…I’m pretty damn inclined to proclaim this cut as THE gem of the entire record – “Here Below” gives it a solid run for its money, but to me, “Consuming” was where Reset Code took what they could do to the next-level, and revealed so many different aspects of their sound, that for me, it’s #1.
Matthias Krauß is one fantastically gifted guitar player…I mean, he proved that 100% in the way he just played “Consuming” and makes it crystal clear in listening to this whole EP, but you’ll also find he’s got a way of working even more subtle magic in the way he’ll play a track like “Starlit Eyes.” Tunes like this are interesting in the sense that they really do borrow right from the roots of 70s Rock on-forward, right up to the influence of the right here & now – so at times, you get this feeling like you’re fluctuating between the decades of the genre while you listen to “Starlit Eyes” – call me crazy, but that’s hella cool. They flex real chops here as a band with their cleverness in timing and sound bouncing from the lefts to the rights – and they find what’s ultimately the most accessible hook you’ll find in any corner of this record when they hit the chorus of “Starlit Eyes.” Ultimately, I’d never take any points away for that, but at the end of the day, that will be the difference between how we listen to these songs over time and the point I was making earlier about “Consuming” – the facts are that the people will likely flock to a track like “Starlit Eyes” quickly and spin this mother as hard as they can, as many times as they can – and with its memorable hook, it’ll stick with’em. It’ll be songs like “Consuming” that keeps people coming back to find something new in these same songs that they’ve now heard, but didn’t notice before – that make any sense? “Starlit Eyes” has such a high degree of accessibility that once you hear it, you’ll be singing along with it by the second time, whereas a track like “Consuming” will take years to fully digest.
Reset Code shows even more depth in their band through tunes like ”Saturnine” where they once again have a bit more space to use, and dole it out to us at a slower pace to provide an impact through the vibes & atmosphere that spreads out through your speakers. Andreas Schmid often reminds me of a cross between the controlled intensity of Scott Anderson in Finger Eleven, as I mentioned earlier, but with just a hint of unpredictable wildness like you’d find in Ozzy’s voice – which certainly works for me – but it also creates a genuine sound of his own that you can identify in all of the tracks on Here Below; and of course that kind of identity will come in mighty handy as Reset Code continues forward from here. Personally, even while I can acknowledge it’s likely going to be the cuts like the title-track or even “Golden” that might make the most immediate impact on listeners out there – it’s the cuts like “Consuming” and “Saturnine” that are going to go a real long way in cementing this band’s legacy over time – this is music to be excited about, even if it moves at a slower pace than the rest of the record.
And here we are…”3:45am” to finish the record on a riotous conclusion. “3:45am the whole idea of time & space, stops making sense” – I mean…good ol’ Andreas sure ain’t wrong as he sings that part of the chorus – that’s exactly why you’ll usually find me up writing at that time of day – I THRIVE on the weird hours of the day that everyone else seems to let go to waste while they’re sleeping – and clearly I’ve got Reset Code on my side! I mean…I don’t know how close I got to the official time of day, but if I had my way, I wrapped this up right at about “3:45am” before publishing in TRIBUTE to the very awesomeness they’ve created throughout this EP – that’s one nite-owl to another paying respect y’all! There’s a damn good chance I’d be taking a serious look at “3:45am” as a single to put out there to bring the people in as well. While I’d probably still argue the main hook of “Starlit Eyes” is still the most memorable one on the record for the masses out there, the hooks & overall fired-up sound of “3:45am” is much more relevant for what’s out there & being listened to right now around the world. Plus…I mean…face facts…Reset Code doesn’t let up for a solitary second on this final cut – a consistency they’ve displayed from the very first moments as the record began – and stokes their intensity into a roaring blaze on “3:45am” – it’d be hard to resist the energy of this last cut when it’s got enough juice to power the electricity of a small village for an entire year, even through the harshest winters – know what I mean?
Those are solid notes to end things on, wouldn’t ya say? Let’s be real here – after having been around for six years waiting to get this moment, chance, and opportunity to get this record out – they finally have, and Reset Code was more than ready for the time when it came. They’ve got themselves a debut to be proud of here for sure…a lineup of six cuts that fully show their commitment, passion, raw power, and stellar songwriting – and they’ve done it in a variety of ways that proves they’re thinking about how to create new sounds in Alt/Rock that generate seriously hybrid entertainment. Tons of people out there will dig on what these guys are doing – Here Below is an EP that’s bound to get them noticed, and hopefully with a little luck, it’ll get these guys back into the recording studio before another six years goes by! Fingers crossed y’all – everything you’ll hear on Here Below sounds like a reason they should continue on, and reveals a band with widespread potential to get even better as they evolve over time.
Get yourselves ready for Reset Code – cause they’re comin’! I never know the differences between timezones and all that to begin with, and here in Canada we just went through daylight savings time so it’s even more confusing than normal. Safe to say you’re merely hours away from their official debut EP coming out – make sure to take a tour on over to their page at Facebook for more details, by clicking right here: https://www.facebook.com/ResetCode.Music
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