The Plot In You – ‘VOL.2’

By Ian Kenworthy

Just like whiskey, pickles and smelly cheese, heavy bands often ‘mellow with age’. In 2021, The Plot In You released their second album ‘Swan Songs’. It seemed they’d done just that, leaving behind the aggression of their early music in favour of more expansive or intimate soundscapes. Mixing alternative/experimental metal with R&B, it saw them inadvertently stumble into the space between Bad Omens and Sleep Token. Then came last year’s ‘Vol. 1’ EP – it was a whipcrack, an about-face, and it definitely wasn’t mellow. Rather than expand the sound, they rejected it, returning heavier and more aggressive. So the follow-up ‘Vol.2’ could go either way. Obviously neither EP exists in a vacuum, it’s explicitly the second part of a series and the choices it makes define both halves so, surprisingly, they’re playing it safe. It’s choosing to run in place, following a similar pattern, albeit inverted. It’s a distorted mirror image.

As with the previous EP, the three songs on ‘Vol.2’ are stripped back and focused. Driven by distorted bass and cavernous drums with nicely groomed guitars adding detail, they sound like a three-piece band with Landon Tewers’ vocal style defining what the song is. ‘Vol.1’ contained three straightforward songs and three distinct sounds; a screamy alt-rock single, a catchy ‘pop’ song and a punishing alt-metal song. It’s the same here.

‘Closure’ is an R&B influenced number, drawing heavily on sultry singing. It’s an easy, likable song, given extra weight by its huge bass groove. This lulls you into a false sense of security because it’s followed by the vicious ‘Don’t Look Away’. While the music retains the passive-aggressive, slightly abstracted studio sound in a frightening contrast, Tewers hard-switches to an anguished howl. It’s raw alt-rock with a catchy hook. Finally, ‘All That I Can Give’ heads in an even heavier direction as Tewers changes style again to almost rap-like flow and a disgusting, guttural yell that give it a bracing edge, especially compared to the crooning found two tracks earlier.

Taken alone, ‘Vol.2’ is a collection of three hard-hitting, effective alt-metal singles. Its lack of creative curveballs is disappointing, especially as it feels so similar to ‘Vol.1’, but it retains that EP’s strengths. A companion piece, a restatement of ideas, it’s the second half of a Rorschach blot; interpret that how you will.

IAN KENWORTHY

Three more album reviews for you

One Step Closer - 'All You Embrace'

El Moono - 'The Waking Sun'

​​Knocked Loose - 'You Won't Go Before You're Supposed To'