Stoke On Trent is not a city widely regarded for a bubbling music scene. However, of the cities slowly building repertoire comes alt-rock band In The Cards, preparing to take their next steps into the music industry with their powerful new release Eyes Beyond Reflection.
With opening tracks, you can generally start with one of two ways, viciously fast paced or slow and sombre. In The Cards’ opening track ‘Mazes’ is the latter. Simplistic is the best way to describe the track, soft with nothing too complicated or overbearing to lose sense of the main focal elements. Of course, this slow mood is captured well but also proves to be a slight complication very early on. With an atmosphere of simplicity, the track sometimes loses substance, even at the pre-chorus build-up. This is also the common factor among the closing tracks ‘Careful Eyes’ and ‘Hollow Hearts’, with nothing to grip listeners and unfortunately falling down the route of repetition.
On the other hand, ‘Beautiful Silence’ and ‘The Only Thing’ are most certainly the stand-out tracks of this EP. Amy Colclough’s airily light vocals help bring a beautiful flowing energy to the track alongside fitting instrumentals perfectly hitting their mark each time, emphasising the talent that the band have. Even ‘The Only Thing’ proves the potential In The Cards have, with guitarist Danny Jones and bassist Nathan Petherick creating a heavy backing infused with a stark contrast in light vocals. This can be hard to achieve, to create a contrast that still fits so effortlessly, a talent that works incredibly well in their favour.
With a little more depth in their tracks, In The Cards could easily have a solid 10/10 release, but just miss the mark with overloaded simplicity and a slight repetitive pattern as a whole.