In 2016, Newcastle newcomers Starve To Survive kicked off their career with a strong debut in Life // Loss; an EP which has seen them tour alongside the likes of Loathe and Black Tongue, as well as perform at Manchester’s Fall In The Brawl Festival. With fans gearing up ready for their second release Have Me To Waste, the aftermath of this one might not be as positive.
Like every metal band, it’s apparent Starve To Survive have used this EP as a therapeutic method of channelling angst, but unfortunately that’s all there is to it. Instead of building on the raw deathcore elements established in Life // Loss, they’ve instead added synths and an unnecessary amount of breakdowns. ‘Dismal’ featuring Harry Rule of God Complex was expected to be a high point, however, that simply consisted of downbeat drops and indistinct vocals that couldn’t be told apart.
Fourth track ‘Back & Forth’ stands out as the only progressive piece found on the EP. Its faster tempo picks up from the pace set in previous track ‘Dismal’ and actually has a coherent melody. One particular section featuring faded vocals layered with a high-tuned guitar solo could comfortably fit in any recent Counterparts track, and adds variation to the bland collection of songs.
A common issue within Have Me To Waste is the attempt at intertwining instruments. While the initial idea of composing the guitar and drums to match each other off the beat in the title track may seem rather innovative, it just becomes messy. This is also due to production, which came from Loathe guitarist Connor Sweeney. Throughout the majority of the EP, it’s refreshing to have every instrument evenly mixed so that rhythmic basslines in the likes of ‘Tremor’ and ‘Twinge’ can be properly appreciated, although at times it can be very overpowering, for example in lead single ‘Dread’.
Have Me To Waste is not an unpleasant listen by any means as most songs do tick all the boxes for a standard metal release, but that’s all it is: standard.