Erabella’s sophomore EP, “The Familiar Grey”, shows promise (review)

Erabella, 2020

I’m always happy to give some coverage to a hometown hero band, and today, I get to do just that. Erabella, a post-hardcore band from Algonquin, Illinois, are gearing up to release their second EP, The Familiar Grey. This young, hungry group brings bellowing vocals atop focused instrumentals, echoing genre greats like Being as an Ocean. Let’s take a look at Erabella’s sophomore effort:

The Familiar Grey begins with “Baudelaire,” displaying the shrill yells of vocalist Chris Hughes in an emotional address of separation. Once the instruments pick up, the integral melody brings necessary depth before a clean vocal chorus from guitarist Connor Rennels adds to the ache. Hughes’ pitch shift in the second verse shows versatility, as he continues the angst over forcible instrumentals.

Two-step is the name of the game in “Casket Talk”, where the heavier side of Erabella comes out. At a succinct 2-minute runtime, this is sure to be a staple for live shows once they return, thanks to its charged breakdown to close things out. “Don’t Forget October 3rd (year 11)” errs with melody again, with a fantastic chorus trade-off between vocalists.

Hughes asks in the pre-chorus of “Hesitation Anxiety”: “Would it be okay to fade away?” before Rennels delivers yet another strong performance in the chorus. Bursting with depraved feelings of intensity, the song is no slouch in evocative expression. Single “I Wish You Weren’t Welcome” gives off Counterparts vibes, compiling the talent of all members of Erabella for another emotional release.

The Familiar Grey wraps up with the title track, a natural leading single with prime melodic hardcore. Erabella takes a lot of cues from other bands in the scene, but they take the best bits and have substance. The Chicago scene may have waned in the past few years, but Erabella persists to make for a good listen.

Rating: 7/10

A press copy of The Familiar Grey was provided courtesy of Erabella.