The Early Days EP shows a marked improvement and maturity in the Newcastle bands songwriting and recording since their debut, producing the most passionate and heartfelt music the band has ever created. Standout punk hardcore for fans of: Comeback Kid, H2O, Strung Out & A Day To Remember.
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Newcastle’s One Vital Word are currently out on tour plugging this recently released 5 track EP, they play Phoenix Youth Centre in Melbourne tomorrow, and Enigma in Adelaide on Sunday before heading to Tasmania next week. What you get with this EP is a bit of a mixup of styles, which is always a good thing, one minute things are flat out and powerful, then the next you can picture fists in the air and crowds singing along at the top of their lungs. To slot it into a pigeon hole, you’d say it’s melodic hardcore for the most part, with a few additional goodies thrown in. Highlight for me comes in the incredibly catchy opener and title track ‘Early Days’ which has a cool pop-punk’ish vibe to it, flows really well and features an instantly memorable chorus. Had every track on the EP sounded like this though, it may not have stood out so much, and been lost in repetition. So two thumbs up for the diversity the band shows on this EP, not enough bands move away from the basic formula. ‘Afraid’ is another quality track, reminds me slightly of Irrelevant at times. The band seems to have really captured a ‘live’ vibe to their sound in the studio too, all sounds nice and natural, while being schmick at the same time. If this EP is them laying the slab, watch out, because they sure have the potential to build something big on it. Hopefully they keep up the touring and make their next step a full length.

Adelaide independent record Label Pee Records has helped release some of the best local music Australia has in the last year. They include Driven Fear’s ‘Society’s Finest’, Promise’s ‘Hopeless Sons’, Safe Hands’ ‘Oh The Humanity’, and now One Vital Word’s ‘Early Days’. This is the Newcastle bands second effort and an EP that will leave punk hardcore fans begging for more. ‘Early Days’ contains five songs; each song captures the different sides and influences of One Vital Word. The band take the in your face aggressive side of Evergreen Terrace, mix it with punk attitude of Rise Against and add the heavy and catchy sides of A Day To Remember. The first track, which happens to also be the title track, ‘Early Days’, is the song that includes all that is One Vital Word and the perfect ambassador for the EP. Even whilst in the midst of bumper-to-bumper traffic in the middle of a heatwave, you will not be able to stop your hands banging the steering wheel and singing along. Fast forward to the last song ‘Bury It’, and it is easy to think that you are listening to one of America’s biggest heavy bands right now, that being A Day To Remember. Placing a band into a genre these days is a task that brings along with it a massive headache. One Vital Word have the music to play side by side with almost any band that fits into the sub-genres of punk, metal and hardcore. But if you were made to choose the genre they should be placed into, then it’s impossible to not select the punk genre.
One Vital Word are a punk band from Newcastle who have delivered us with their second effort, ‘Early Days’, and have immediately placed themselves amongst Australia’s top punk, metal and hardcore bands. If only a 5 song EP creates this much enjoyment and excitement, can you imagine what a full-length album would do? Rating: 10/10 [USA]
Australia’s One Vital Word opens on their latest EP, Early Days, sounding like a shoe-in for the Bridge Nine Records family, but by the end of the track feel more like an Epitaph Records alumni act. In other words, the group takes off with a big hardcore showdown akin to the shouty aggression of Death Before Dishonor, eventually morphing into a faithful recreation of something along the lines of Pennywise or Pulley. In a world where clean vocals meet hardcore often refers to the castrato-death crunch hybrid of regrettable bands like A Skylit Drive, One Vital Word dishes out a healthy serving of stylistic redemption. Early Days promptly hits the nail on the head for both styles, pumping up listeners up for a well balanced, energetically belted combination of melody and frenzy. Curiously, the best balance rests wedged in the middle track, “Afraid.” Opening with blistering skate punk drumming matched quickly by an initial train of clean vocals, vocalist Owen Smith’s assertion that “your conscious hides behind this…” quickly leads to a flat throaty assault suiting the desperation of lines like “it’s better to live and win than lose…” and the nervous insistence inherent in the final repetition, “look at my eyes, I’m not afraid.” Each style serves a communicative purpose, echoing and establishing each line’s intent. For instance, “Ignorance” speaks of the world breaking from an ongoing rut, – Smith passionately crying “please put a smile on my face and I’ll happily return it,” dishearteningly raging about being “so caught in the moment, [that] we stay.” The chorus challenges listeners in a moment of vocal clarity, fluidly illuminating the line “better we know why we are avoiding the problem” in the hopes that something good may still come from humanity’s grand mess. Consequently, the message is passionate, and delivery powerful. The final track, “Bury It,” singularly focuses on dark, barking hardcore. While technically competent, the track misses the mark set by the rest of the EP, attesting to the importance of One Vital Word’s vocal variety for their success. Owen Smith is a rare specimen these days – his chameleon-like performance placing him atop his peers, and the ease of his performance only limited by the ambition of any given track. While Early Days is an impressive EP, I’d be curious to see Smith push his limits further, and truly test his bounds – not that he doesn’t already have plenty of edge over the competition.
Review by: Cole Faulkner – Rating: 3.5/5

PEE #47
Being a massive fan of One Vital Words, I was really looking forward to listening to this CD. Early Days contains five tracks and simply is just not enough, the energy behind this CD amazing! One Vital Word play a style of punk / hardcore / metal that is very unique to most of the stuff out there today. This record is fast, heavy and one thing that really attracts me to this band is the incredible vocals, the passion behind Owen’s voice makes me feel warm inside. The stand out track for me would be ‘Bury It’. If you’re a fan of Strung Out, Comeback Kid and Rise Against this band should appease your appetite. OVW are one of the most underrated bands in Australia, if you have not heard of them go and check them out NOW.
Rating: 97 – Review by: Dan

Lights Go Out zine #13 [UK]
Fucking hell do I like this! One Vital Word hail from Australia and are yet another off the Pee Records factory line of impressive bands. Heavy melodic hardcore with vocals that switch between melodic and heavy. In that sense it’s a bit Funeral For A Friend or Finch like, but this is so much better than those bands. It really works here. Think Our Time Down Here, Strung Out. The songs are addictive, the bass lines thunder out – I can’t get enough of this! One Vital Word need to come to the UK to play, this is a band I wanna enjoy live. The only downer is that there are only the 5 songs on here, I really could have done with this being a full album cause I’ve been playing this on repeat! I cannot stress how good this one is, you should get yourself a copy! Review by: Mr. T

No Heroes Mag #9
If I say Newcastle, I’m sure you would say a number of different things, perhaps not necessarily positive things either. What you are unlikely to say is epic punk hardcore with a buckerload of emotion and melody. One Vital Word have launched themselves into relevance with Early Days. The title track is on par with any punk rock penned in this country and the rest of the EP is equally as anthemic. The only downside to be found is perhaps also its strength; I can’t figure out what it reminds me of. It is a collage of so many sounds including Every Time I Die, Rise Against, Death By Stereo, Comeback Kid and Gallows. So lets call it Punk Hardcore and just enjot the hell out of something that is fresh and catchy as this.
Rating: 3.5/5 – Review by: Oliver Cation

BLUNT Issue #98
Boasting better song writing chops and more fresh ideas than so many of their local peers, One Vital Word are well worth a look if you’re down with the sounds of everyone from Comeback Kid and Strung Out through to Polar Bear Club. Odd then (and no doubt frustrating for the band) that they have been overlooked by the greater punk and hardcore communities, as the Novocastrian quintet deserve to be a far bigger deal. Recorded locally and mastered by Paul Leavitt (Senses Fail, Circa Survive) in the US, Early Days is a short sharp five-track effort that covers everything from ’90s inspired punk rock (the EP’s title track) through to One Vital Word’s modern day take on melodic hardcore with the awesome “Ignorance”.
Review by: Timothy Hawthorne – Rating: 3.5/5

11 Feb 2011

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CAT #: PCD041
Recorded & Mixed by: Mitta Norath @ Capulet Studio
Mastered by: Paul Leavitt

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