Of all the bands in underground hardcore these days, Ithaca are one that I find hugely exciting. Their sound is noisy and technical enough to be impressive in a musical sense; but it’s also combined with a melodic, emotional streak that is so often lacking from similar bands. Their debut album, due for release later this year, is one I’m truly exciting for; and Tresspassers, their EP from 2015, provides plenty of evidence as to just why that is.
First track ‘Otherworldly’ is a perfect example of how modern hardcore can achieve more with less. Clocking in at 91 seconds, it manages to pack in a host of twists and turns in to its short run time, with melodies dropping in and out, moments of early Dillinger-esque noise, and a sense of physical catharsis. ‘Lifelost’ throws some a handful of classic metal hints in to some of its melodies, that combines beautifully with the progressive, noisy hardcore main; whilst ‘Wither & Wane’ is heavy with the weight of misery. The final closing track feels epic, not so much because of its run time (4 minutes 32), but because of the scope of its sound and emotion. If the new album is half this good, and given the success of bands like Rolo Tomassi and Employed To Serve, there’s no reason Ithaca that couldn’t become similar titans of the British underground.