Don’t Miss This! Vol. 9: Servers
2014 was a terrific year for metal and if you disagree you can see yourself out of the hall, into the void, or some other phrase we used to use all the time. There’s no way one of the many contributors here missed the opportunity to showcase a terrific band… unless that band leaned more towards hard rock than heavy metal.
Sometimes one has to stop fucking one’s brain over with Antichamber and play some Serious Sam. Sometimes one has to ease the gas on chef-grade sushi and get some Long John Silver’s (please don’t think this is a bad thing). It’s taxing listening to so many challenging (yet amazing) bands like Artificial Brain or Sinmara. Sometimes we get an itch that needs scratching, and a good hard rock band can often satisfy that need. Today I’m showcasing the band Servers, whose debut album Leave With Us might have passed under your radar in 2014.
In February of last year, the South Yorkshire rockers released their debut full length to the masses. I wouldn’t have known about this band if it weren’t for an excellent review published by the nice folks at Heavy Blog Is Heavy (to which it was awarded 4.5… thingies). I immediately checked them out and was hooked from the get-go. What follows is the first single “Universes and Supernovas (The Ride)” – and accompanying video – from the album:
How can anybody deny those crunchy, catchy riffs (worth nothing – the album version is 6:14 and ends with an orchestra mirroring the main guitar riff)? It had me thinking; every time I muse that the three-piece hard rock act is completely out of gas, I end up being incorrect. All it took was about 20 listens of this first single to coerce me to purchase the album ASAP. And it turns out the album as a whole is 100% unflushable.
Servers boasts Lee Storrar on vocals/guitars, Ant Nettleship on drums, and Lee Wilde on bass. Lee’s vocals are gruff in a Motorhead kind of way with a TREMENDOUS amount of energy and passion driving them forward. Dude can scream. Ant and Lee’s performances provide the perfect backing rhythm section: simply driving forward at full-throttle with the precision and accuracy of a well-oiled punk rock machine. The riffs are what I commonly refer to as “driving” and “bombastic”; the inertia present in the hard-rocking tracks is just unstoppable! Bands that seem to come to mind are Alkaline Trio and Lazer/Wulf with their ferocious assault of riffs that don’t let go of your earholes for the length of the track. Along with the first single are heavy-hitters “Save Me From Myself” and “Once I Started” that exhibit the same punk-rocking energy.
So when Servers aren’t rocking your gosh-darned socks off, they take a more introspective approach and slow it down a little bit. We might even call them doomy (I think in another life I would have called them ballads). Songs like “Claustrophobia”, the second single from the record, do a tremendous job of showcasing this:
“Claustrophobia” is one of four tracks that highlight their slower, more melodic style of rocking. The fifth song “Dangerous Devotion” features one of the catchiest harmonized vocal hooks in recent history, an incredibly soulful guitar solo, and a string orchestra overlapping the latter half of the song for added intensity.
Leave With Us is half adrenaline-fueled hard rock songs with the intensity that could power a small town, and half doom-influenced “ballads” with absolutely stunning beauty. The production of the album is PERFECT. Yes you read that correctly, every instrument and vocal line are crystal clear, with no element overpowering the other. The album length is ideal; 10 tracks each averaging about 4 minutes long. “This is their debut album?” you might be asking yourself. I thought the same thing. Servers has all the ingredients to be the next big hard rock/heavy metal band that, unfortunately, YOU missed in 2014.