A year and a half after the release of their first single, “The Estate,” Earth Groans has now released their debut EP, Renovate. The album packs a punch with all five songs, starting with the aforementioned single. The raw power in frontman Jeremy Schaeffer’s vocals embodies the classic elements of hardcore and punk rock. When combined with supreme passion for the truth and faith, the music is taken to the next level.
Schaeffer’s vocals are a wall of sound, confident and strong, from the blaring mids to the heavy lows. There is the occasional indecipherable line and vocal inflections that feel a bit awkward, but you can’t deny that Schaeffer knows his craft. If the phrasing were more natural, the brilliant lyrics could be better understood. But overall, his lyricism is a solid and holistic composition, presented in five movements.
The EP begins with an aggressive handshake in “The Estate.” Schaeffer adds intensity with the way he allows urgent breath to seep through his vocals by the middle of the track. When the listener hears him growl into the next line, there’s no doubt he embraces his voice as an instrument as powerful as any other. As the EP progresses, the drums get faster, guitars grow more chaotic and the breakdowns become heavier. Earth Groans excels at songwriting, placing each section of the song right where it needs to be; transitions are well thought out and executed.
In songs like “Propaganda,” the listener is thrown into chaos and then whipped back into a recognizable groove, which is reflective of the lyrical content. Schaeffer sets the scene with disorder and eventually addresses the root of the issue, leaving in his wake a lyrical and instrumental understanding of the music. By the end of the EP, the listener has been guided through a wave of emotions, whether headbanging or standing still just to hear the subtleties. Earth Groans acts as the supreme conductor of the energy the entire time.
The production quality is no doubt enough to get them noticed, but I can’t wait to see what happens when Earth Groans is picked up and put in the right studio. Listeners can certainly anticipate a brutal future for this growing band. As a debut EP, Renovate certainly makes a statement. With stories that reflect truth and lines that come straight from scripture, the band is clearly about their faith. In the final track, “Eclipse,” Schaeffer pleads, “When the wind blows, dig your roots deep.” Earth Groans tells a vivid story and responds with genuine passion. From start to finish, the energy is full and explosive, bringing order through chaos and faith through reality.