With a new label, their own album release shows, and more touring and festival slots than seemingly physically possible, Employed To Serve have grabbed 2019 by the throat and they will not let go until the whole world knows their name. Eternal Forward Motion (Spinefarm Records) is the most apt album title for this band right now as they steamroll through the competition, uncompromising in their sound, there seems to be no slowing down for Woking’ s heaviest export.
Any concern you may have had about Employed To Serve leaving Holy Roar for new pastures and challenges is immediately evaporated in the opening notes of Eternal Forward Motion’s title track as it bursts with that Botch-like scattergun intensity that hooked so many on Greyer Than You Remember. Things only get more cutthroat with ‘Dull Ache Behind The Eyes’ which contains Justine Jones’s most visceral vocal performance to date and ends with a dirty, fuzzy beatdown that flips the pace on its head to give a wholly different sinister vibe.
Eternal Forward Motion flirts with melody more than its predecessors, like guitarist Sammy Urwin’s interspersing clean vocals with this pained rasp on the chorus of ‘ Force Fed’ or the surprisingly hopeful sounding closer ‘Bare Bones On A Blue Sky’. So the band’ s third album is easily their most melodic, but when a record is this bleak and confrontational, melody isn’t what sticks in the mind. ‘Harsh Truth’ is a stark, cold-eyed stare at the uncomfortable fact that positive social media posts largely hide troubled lives and cries for help. It’ s a cathartic anthem, much like ‘Half Life’ from Warmth… that bursts with this defiant bravado in the face of a hollow and jaded world.
We even get a continuation of the brief spoken word interlude from the title track of Warmth… on ‘Reality Filter’ lamenting the fact that two years on from that record “nothing’s changed” and the personal and societal struggles the band touched upon are still apparent, if not worse. While the stagnation of the world around them is still apparent, it’s only made Employed To Serve more pissed-off and whether it’ s the bludgeoning of ‘Suspended In Emptiness’ or the Norma Jean-esque, erratic execution of ‘Owed Zero’, there seems to be no end to their dynamic vitriol.
Greyer Than You Remember peaked our interest. The Warmth Of A Dying Sun got our attention. Now, Eternal Forward Motion has its hooks in us and will not let us go, and we’re more than ok with that.
8 / 10