Follower – ‘Against The Ropes’

By Andy Joice

Guildford five-piece, Follower, are introducing themselves to the world with their debut EP ‘Against The Ropes’. A relatively new band, they’ve only been around since 2016 but they’re already making a name for themselves, filling venues in their home town. Initially meeting on music forums, vocalist Luke Archer and lead guitarist Ollie Moor started writing, jamming and recording together to build their skills before enlisting the rest of the band, fully completing the lineup in 2018.

For a new band to have a distinct sound and progression, it’s quite something. With exceptionally well-written songs, fluid and powerful melodies, they’re well beyond their years. Brimming with wisdom and a chemistry between the members, they’ve created an alt-rock sound that’s punchy and memorable.

Opening with ‘Fallen Down’, we’re immediately thrown into a coursing anthem with a pounding central riff and a catchy chorus. Containing the record’s namesake in the line “life’s got me against the ropes’”, it’s insight into one of the central themes throughout the album – namely the struggles of mental health and acceptance of help.

It’s refreshing for a band releasing their debut EP, a band full of young men, to focus so heavily on coping with mental health issues and being so open with it. It’s something that should be discussed more openly and it’s a theme that lingers throughout the album. A large part of their idea of coping is learning to fall but picking yourself up again afterwards. With references to falling subtly peppered into almost every song, it’s clear they support each other through every downfall, encouraging them to grow as a band and as men in the right way – together and with their heads held high.

‘Someday Soon’ is a much gentler track and it’s here that we get a first glimpse at the strength and range to Archer’s voice. Delicate and heartfelt, there’s a fragility that carries it throughout the piece. Consisting of a soothing melody, a smattering of keys and harmonies aplenty, it slows the pace of ‘Against The Ropes’ perfectly.

Closing with the Breaking Benjamin-esque ‘Dreamer’, it’s a build up of pulsing drums layered with an entrancing guitar part, held together by Archer’s near perfect delivery. Poetic with a hint of darkness, its chorus of “wake me up I’ve been dreaming for far too long” leaves an earworm drenched in 2000’s rock nostalgia.

As a debut EP it’s great. As a debut EP for a band who’ve been together for little over a year, it’s astounding. Succinct, melodious and powerful it’s a perfect beginning. Hopefully there’s plenty more to come from Follower.

If you like the sound of this EP, check out the album here in our exclusive preview of Against The Ropes

ANDY JOICE

Three more album reviews for you

Baroness - 'Gold & Grey'

LIVE: Underoath / Parting Gift @ Electric Ballroom, Camden

LIVE: Slam Dunk Festival 2019