Runaway Summer sounds like the title of a surf rock album. But it’s not. It’s the new EP from Cordova, a hardcore rock band hailing from New Mexico. The band’s debut album, Staring at Fire, dropped in 2016 and was good enough to allow Cordova to open for Drowning Pool, Saliva, Buckcherry, and Hawthorne Heights.
Cordova comprises Oliver Charity (vocals), Scott Guthrie (guitars), Jason Reed (bass), Erik Kurtz (guitars), and Mikey Stampede (drums). Stylistically, they’re probably best described as alt rock or hard rock with short-term incursions of metal.
The EP’s first track, “Hiding,” is the heaviest and most substantial of the four on it. The tune starts off with raging guitar riffs and rampaging drums. It’s a thickly textured song but avoids the pitfall of naught but blistering guitars by precise sonic arrangement of dense and thin guitars.
The title track radiates a dark mood and beau coup bushy discharges from the guitars. Charity’s vocals exude raw, passionate tones. It’s a strong voice and his clear phrasing provides a nice change from the usual diehard monotone screaming of many bands. Because of its harmonic flow and mounting dynamics, this is my favorite song on the EP.
“Trigger Happy” opens with tight chords, as well as fat drums and heavy cymbal work. Dual levels of guitar colors give the music balance, deep hues juxtaposed against lighter hues. It’s a potent tune reminiscent of Godsmack.
The final track, “Weighted,” comes across as a blend of Godsmack and Buckcherry. The impudent guitars grind and groan with compact, dirty oomph, while Charity snaps and snarls prior to injecting richer, melodic tones. This display of vocal prowess gives the tune a varied sonic commerce that keeps the song from entering the realm of flat tedium.
Runaway Summer offers better than average hard rock. The compositions demonstrate an ear for what sounds good and what doesn’t. It’s heavy, hard rock with just enough elegance to make it appealing. Cordova is worth checking out.