The good thing about doing the odd bit of writing for a music magazine is at times you’re going to hear a band that makes the hairs on the back of your hand stand up, in a spidey sense type of way, and in 2016 Yorkshire’s finest, Servers recorded Everything is Ok, an album that made it onto my list of the best albums of 2016.
Three years later, these grunge influenced rockers from Barnsley, have released their follow up, Ad Nauseam. I’m interested to hear if they have evolved or gone a different route altogether or tried to make a pop-rock album.
Servers erupt with “Blind Faith” but it’s second tune and first release, “Watch You Bleed”, a video you can see at the bottom of the page. I hear Therapy?-esque Gothic undertones with crunching riffs, fast-paced drumming and operatic vocals. I feel the need to take a few deep breaths as the tune finishes or I’ll need a brown paper bag to breathe in…one, two, three, count slowly.
Fanboying much? Why yes, yes I am….already I can sense a change in their sound since 2016 and what grabs me is their ideals of putting music first with heavy, dark and emotive grunge of tracks such as “In Death” The brilliant operatic metal of “Beneath Me” and “Hidden Sensors”, in the latter of which you’ll hear Lee Storrar’s distorted screams cocooned around gentle repetitive riffs, gave me an uneasy but comfortable feel of an impending doom vibe and it warmed the cockles of my heart.
In “If I Fail” Lee Storrar connects to the doomed with the words “I’m gonna drown, in original sin” This tells a story, whether it’s biblical, of addiction, depression or living in fear when you want to try a new way of life. I felt that in those few words. Lyrics with passion come being felt in the vocals is always essential to me. I’ll go back to the 90s when grunge supergroup, Mad Season formed and created the Above record. An album built around addiction and recovery which bleeds through emotion and undoubted fear of the unknown. Servers are putting their soul into this.
“Why Are You Giving Me Hell” is lyrically dark with a catchiness that’ll have people chanting “Why are you giving me hell, when I am giving you heaven” I’ve already started doing it….not sure the other half appreciates it. Another highlight is “The Cellar”, this shows a huge old school metal sound with heavy crashing drums, a therapeutic melodic chorus during which Storrar tells us not to go in the cellar.
Ad Nauseam is the next level for these guys, Everything is Ok is great on its own, but this one proves Servers are pupils of the rock / metal sound and with the album’s final tune “CirclE5” they enter the realm of some fast old-school thrash metal that certain old-school thrashers will be proud of.
The grunge moniker for any band is tough to deal with. You do know the grunge era only lasted a few years and died when it was meant to. The genre is a huge part of musical history and no doubt bands are influenced by the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Mudhoney and Melvins to name a few, but it is what bands do with this and Servers are carrying the unlit torch of grunge, rock, metal, operatic metal. For me, I am certainly looking forward to hearing what these cats do next… a London tour?
Ad Nauseum was released 12th April 2019