Buffalo trio Alleys are in a strange place, figuratively speaking of course. Drummer/vocalist Sebastian Cichon recently moved about as far across the country as possible… About 3,000 miles to be exact. But mere distance couldn’t stop Alleys from releasing their latest and final(?) offering, a four-song EP titled Sliver of Great, recorded at GCR studios with Jay Zubricky.
If you aren’t familiar with Alleys, they’ve perfected the art of mathy pop-punk with tinges of emo, twinkle, skramz, and any other sub-genre you might be able to think of. Opening track “Strange Things Are Afoot At The Circle K” is a wonderful waltz that highlights Alleys’ strong attention to syncopation. At just over two minutes in length, the song presents as one long crescendo, exploding into a fuzzed-out ending, supplemented perfectly by a disgustingly dirty bass tone.
“Have Fun Being Married to Satan” is another two minute banger that finds Alleys exploring a more upbeat sound, pairing spitfire vocals with an especially mathy climax. Same goes for the noodly guitar riffs that pepper “Blender // World Cup.” One of the coolest moments on the EP happens at :57 here, where the trio lock into a heavily syncopated groove before bursting into a grungy breakdown. This is far from the only twist and turn that “Blender // World Cup” takes – it is certainly worth a listen (or three).
“Vulch’s Kitty Collection” rounds out this great batch of jams, and definitely earns my vote for “hardest shredz” on this EP. Beyond the hooky intro riff, the song is raw and guttural, spanning the spectrum between clean and dirty, and subdued and all-out. Alleys show their true colors here with the truest of attention paid to dynamics… I can’t think of a better way for them to say say farewell than with the sheer riffage packed into this track.
Alleys are offering Sliver of Great for a very reasonable “name your price” rate. Check it out on Bandcamp.