"Chapters" (A WORLD AWAY) - NEW EP REVIEW
EP: Chapters // ARTIST: A World Away
Modern grunge gets down-tuned and dazzling as Goldy rockers A World Away finally sit on the brink of their long-anticipated debut EP 'Chapters'.
For an eventful band backstory, there's few that can rival the culmination of A World Away and their debut live show and ultimate bittersweet release. Following a lunch meeting incited by eventual A World Away lead guitarist Corey De Luka's desire to amass a band of his favourite local musos, the eventual lineup of De Luka, Paul Galagher (MofoIsDead), Josh Larkin (Ashes) and Rory Swane (HELM) collided their worlds through a series of writing and jam sessions.
So far, standard fare for any band's establishment, but these writing and jam sessions weren't just for the group to get a sense of each other; with De Luka working as The Tea Party frontman Jeff Martin's studio engineer and live guitar tech at the time, the pair ultimately stuck up a bargain: if Jeff thought the band was good and liked what he heard - he would produce the EP for free. Relentless sessions ensued after Martin green-lit the recording and the magic of A World Away was taking shape until tragedy struck with De Luka receiving the devastating diagnosis of kidney and lung cancer in 2017. While at this stage not even considering live shows, the group rallied together to stage a benefit, 'Corey's Jam' featuring De Luka's close friends including Jeff Martin, Sarah McLeod (The Superjesus), as well as his fellow A World Away bandmates. Despite all odds, De Luka arrived to the gig in a wheelchair, stood up and shredded five songs onstage for what would be A World Away's first and last live show; six days later, Corey tragically lost his battle.
But while Corey De Luka was the binding force behind A World Away, his passion and finesse lives on, with the same five songs he bravely brought to life onstage with his bandmates immortalised in an insanely incredible EP 'Chapters' due out tomorrow on the 2nd anniversary of Corey's passing.
'Chapters' begins with down-tuned noodling and melodic canoodling as the A World Away gents flex their grunge-laden muscles on opening track 'The Struggle'. Boasting a cohesion sturdier than your local glue factory, you'd be forgiven for mistaking A World Away for some time-travelling 90s Seattle supergroup who somehow wound up in 2019. 'Please Me' kicks in next, hurling dissonant harmonies and weighty basslines beneath frontman Paul Galagher's barrelling emotive vocals.
The 'Chapters' midpoint 'As You Were' dips into calmer waters, dishing up a heart-wrenching ballad that is equal parts beautiful and brooding. Showcasing a sharply softer side for A World Away, 'As You Were' masquerades as the perfect ode to relationship heartbreak (but is, in fact, about the death of Galagher's cat in 2015).
Rounding out the EP is 'Alight' with its pumped up tempo and anthemic chorus just begging to come to life in a stadium setting, while closing track 'Breaking Me Down' could seamlessly dive into Alice In Chain's next live show and no one would bat an eyelid at the riffy, woozy goodness.
There's certainly an overall melancholic twist to the impending release of 'Chapters' into the world tomorrow; but the fiery passion and tenacity that brought this EP into being burns bright throughout the short space of five tracks, and it's no small claim to label this release as one of the most proficient and engaging to wander into 2019 so far. A World Away have defied all the odds and emerge undoubtedly as a force to be reckoned with - and wherever their next chapter takes them, it is our invaluable gain to see 'Chapters' finally come to fruition.
A WORLD AWAY WILL OFFICIALLY UNVEIL THEIR EP 'CHAPTERS' TOMORROW, ALSO MARKING THE 2ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE PASSING OF COREY DE LUKA. FOR ALL A WORLD AWAY INFO AND MORE, HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER