Soaring indie rock with a canopy of storm clouds—that’s what you get when you stream The Rivers’ debut EP, Life In General. From the isolated electric guitar in the intro of Juncture to the lingering final chord of Hello Today, the band embraces their party boy mentality. But there’s more to their sound than you might expect to find in your typical indie rock lineup. The Rivers have figured out a way to capture the magic of driven guitar lines and contort them into a whole new beast. Something in their moody chord structures and tumbling drums dig deep into the darkest parts of your soul.
Hailing from Merthyr Tydfil, The Rivers draw inspiration from indie rock staples like Oasis and Catfish and the Bottlemen. Singer Daniel Hewitt knows just how to hold the listener’s attention without losing his cool. His voice is jaded and enticing at the same time, tempting you on in the hopes that he’ll let you in on his secret. For a three piece band, The Rivers certainly know how to pack a punch.
Straight in with its melancholy top line, Realise, the second track of the band’s EP, strikes a chord for anyone who’s ever lost touch with a former lover. Hewitt explores what runs through his mind as he recalls how his relationship fell apart. This song plays like a stroll down memory lane. With a powerful, head banging, chorus, Realise is the EP’s emotional crux.
Life In General’s standout single, For You, was released ahead of the EP and it definitely holds up in context. The song kicks off with a jagged guitar line. It sounds like a rainy, summer night, like dark clouds looming over hot pavement. For You masters the art of tension and release, thinning out and steadily building itself back up in a cycle that keeps you right where it wants you.
“Summer vibes on the first day of spring,” sings Hewitt, as a lead in to the song, Industrial Lights, but this track plays closer to winter than anything else. With threats of broken promises over shimmering tremolo guitars, the tension in Industrial Lights is palpable. Halfway through the track, The Rivers revisit its opening line, this time backed by distortion and an intensity that builds with every passing second. Industrial Lights secures itself in the world The Rivers have built for it, with references to Wetherspoons and mountain views. Anyone who’s spent time in South Wales will understand exactly how the band envisions this tune.
The Rivers have used their standard, indie rock toolkit as the building blocks of their EP, Life In General, but they’ve also harnessed a tantalizing darkness that weaves between their songs like a rising storm. Fans of Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes will appreciate the jagged edges of the genre, around which Life In General dances. This is an EP packed with summer songs for stormchasers.
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You can hear Life In General HERE: https://open.spotify.com/album/2ezcZGz0ryY7xJzYwqxZEt?si=zYffXwfYTFWSqW5bOFyibw