Album Review: The Smallest Creature – Reboot

SmallestCreatureAlbum

It’s a sign of quality when a new band comes into view playing a style I’ve heard countless times before and still manage to impress me with their voice. That’s an impression I get with the single released from the smallest Creature (irregular capitalization intended), an alt-rock band from Cyprus that closely recalls Porcupine Tree and Muse without ever sounding like a clone of either.

Nevermind the band’s fairly uncommon origins, the sort of melancholic rock the smallest Creature play is a well-trodden land by this point, but there’s something about “Reboot”, a single from their TBA full-length, that makes them stand out to some degree. Arguably best among a small collection of singles the band have released so far, “Reboot” conjures impressions of the epic a la Muse without ever letting themselves fall into that same rut of overblown bombast. Taking things overboard is an easy way for music to lose steam quickly, but the smallest Creature find a striking combination between boldness and introspection here. Arguably most compelling here of all is the voice of frontman Stefanos Marnerides, who angles his voice with his melancholic lines out of the Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) handbook. Where many bands of this sort fall short is the actual writing of melody; this may be the band’s highest point. Marnerides’ vocal lines are equal parts brooding and whimsical, choosing impressively unpredictable but effective notes to comprise his melodic hooks.

There’s a lot of promise in this single, to say the least. Although certain styles come and go, I think there’s always going to be a place for melancholic rock; the style’s been going strong since the 1990s, and if the smallest Creature prove to be any indicator, it’s not bound to be going anywhere. Whether they’re able to hold up this high standard of quality come the full-length remains to be seen, but from what we’ve heard so far, there’s every reason to be optimistic.

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/thesmallestcreature

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