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EP Review: Merci by &U&I

Post hardcore act &U&I have finally released their new EP Merci after almost four years since their debut album, Light Bearer. Their debut set the band out as one of Britain’s best bands and Merci is a timely reminder of just how good &U&I are.

&U&I formed out of the embers of legendary underground Blakfish in 2010 and haven’t compromised on any of the intensity and energy while blending it with a more complex and rhythmic assault.

Merci opens with the throbbing post hardcore stomp of ‘The Wooden Box’ before excelling in the phenomenal math based ‘The Stamp’. The guitars chug and burn over a complex rhythm with the vocals throwing out an impassioned call to arms.

‘The Conqueror’ is an almost perfect English post hardcore track. It brings memories of the genres heyday of the mid 2000s with an added menace. There’s a hint of Million Dead, which naturally is no bad thing. It’s one of those tracks you rarely hear these days that sends a shiver down the spine. The gentle opening to ‘The Artist’ is refined and mature and spells out the underlying feeling of the rest of the track. It’s reflective and the bombastic energy is replaced with a slower and building tempo. It shows a different side to &U&I and is every bit as compelling.

&U&I may have slipped off the radar in recent years, but Merci is a welcome return and reminder that Britain was missing one of its best bands. It’s the kind of EP that gets you excited and leaves you begging for more.

AD Rating 8/10

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