There is such a thing as being overly ambitious, where expectations are so lofty that the final product suffers as a result. It probably hits music the hardest, especially nowadays where acts can throw together completely disparate genres at will. On their debut EP Impernanence, One Gone Thus suffer from exactly that problem. The duo definitely have a workable template in their core ideas of polished post-hardcore in the Underøath vein, but there’s so much packed in that it becomes a mess.
But here’s the thing – Impermanence is the sort of fascinating catastrophe that warrants at least a few listens, if only to try and decipher how the hell they fit everything in here. Because while they undoubtedly try to do too much in too short a time, the signs of a potentially great band are here. The opening duo of Self & Soul and A Girl Who Turned To Stone are prime examples of this – the former is absolutely towering with its glitchy electronics and skittering, synthetic riffs sounding incredibly contemporary, while the latter is a lot more straightforward with its powerful, sturdy guitars and electronics as accompaniments making a real impact.
It’s the other three tracks of this EP that really let One Gone Thus down. Compared to the previous two songs, these three pack far more into the same length package, and it doesn’t really work, so much so that the elements that make them stand out often result in their downfall. They stuff so much into each package that there’s no room for any separate element to breathe, and they end up crushed under their own weight. Watch Me Change probably suffers the most, attempting to splice together about four different songs into some Frankenstein’s monster that doesn’t flow at all. The others aren’t as bad – there’s definitely a great song buried in I Disappear underneath its superfluous padding – but there’s a definite feeling of over-saturation within these songs that’s really unappealing.
It all makes Impermanence such a frustrating listen. There’s a great band somewhere in One Gone Thus’ arsenal, but it feels as though they’re repressing their best elements beneath these unnecessary experimental tendencies. You can give them the benefit of the doubt for now – this is their debut EP after all, the perfect place for testing what they can get away with – but even so, it’s tainted by too many ideas, and that’s definitely to its detriment.
For fans of: Thrice, Underøath, Hands Like Houses
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Impermanence’ by One Gone Thus is released on 3rd June.