Districts’s latest EP revolves around a sensible mix of sleekly transitioned melodies and aggressive, downtuned riffs, taking after Volumes or a less instrumentally chaotic Structures. The energy and sheer vitriol of their style grows stronger and more evident with each song, although they sometimes fall into repetitive breakdowns that can sometimes be a turnoff, although they’re definitely groovy as hell. Bottom line, the Districts EP is meant for throwing down and singing along.
The first track, “Heroine City,” highlights a contrast between their melodic, Counterparts/Structures-esque passage and their crushing grooves. The former is indisputably tastefully done, as vocalist Alex Dunseith relaxes his stress and plays around with his range. The guitar rhythm is diverse, almost polyrhythmic, but sort of crashes when it suddenly shifts into a breakdown without really any transitioning. As it progresses, however, it does change with sufficient transition and becomes markedly heavier and lower. It turns melodic for a bit, then just becomes even lower and is allowed to ring as it drones out into “Stale Air,” which begins with a bendy groove and a two-step. It’s chock full of infectious, aggressive riffage that’s complemented by more melody. Transitioning still seems to be a weakness, although it’s not glaring.
The third track, “Answers,” opens with the biggest atmosphere of the entire record that slowly breaks down into more downtuned hate, which takes control of the song, save for a reprise of the intro about 2/3 of the way in. “Untouchable” then closes things out with a vengeance, arguably the angriest song of the four. And it stays that way, until a melody and gang vocals fade out the EP.
Overall, the EP is definitely a fun listen but leaves much to be desired, specifically in the transitioning and the predictability, as there are points in certain songs where you sort of know what’s going to happen next, which makes it that much less exciting and interesting. I mean, you would think that the relative lack of transitions would make it unpredictable. But, regardless, the songs undoubtedly stand on their own even if they do get boring when listened back-to-back-to-back-to-back in the actual EP.