Consider this: “Pavilions are a British post-hardcore band”. Depending on your knowledge of the genre, this could mean many things. Ten years ago, Britain had a multitude of bands distorting the sounds of Fugazi, At The Drive-In, Far and Glassjaw into their own unique version of what post-hardcore is. Hundred Reasons, Million Dead, Reuben, Hell Is For Heroes and pre-Puzzle Biffy all made something exciting and essential. Nowadays, British post-hardcore is not as thrilling a prospect: over-diluted by also-rans and commercialised beyond any recognition.
The Wirral’s Pavilions, despite not being Fugazi, are making all the right noises having already toured with Deaf Havana, Lower Than Atlantis and The Blackout, as well as having released a well-received if underheard self-titled EP in 2011. Debut album The Future’s Mine to Make is the point where the quintet can possibly have young post-hardcore bands supporting them instead of vice versa. First single ‘Moron Mountain’ announces itself with a punishing Thursday-at-full-pelt intro, before changing tempo, swaggering a little and letting guest vocalist, Violet’s Charlie Bass, takes the microphone with hoarse bravo for the opening verse. It becomes clear very quickly that the band certainly know their way around a time signature, how to change between them seamlessly and to do so to thrilling effect.
Highlight ‘Doing A Jamie Lee’ is reminiscent of ‘There’s A Reason…’ by Panic! At The Disco, with its cabaret confessional vocal style, staccato guitar and accelerated waltz time. The chorus cleverly wrongfoots the listener, sending them skyward with the vocal while a crushing riff simultaneously begs for attention. The unfortunate pre-breakdown sub-cookie monster growl of “We don’t give a fuck” is cringe-worthy, but takes nothing away from the onslaught of math-level instrumentation that follows. Arguable best track ‘MDR’ features a hugely enjoyable schizophrenic twitching beatdown that will no doubt make it a live favourite. Each song boasts its own impressive instrumental passages that keep the songs from being bland verse chorus verse affairs, while also maintaining a radio-friendly under four minute song length.
The main problem with The Future’s Mine to Make, despite the talent on display, is that the album’s tracks all seem to merge together with little to differentiate from each other apart from the occasional fun instrumental section. Tezz Roberts’ vocals, though powerful, could be anyone else in the world; his high-range Americanised singing references everyone from Patrick Stump to You Me At Six’s Josh Franceschi while never being his own. It is possible that with their polished accessible sound and anthemic choruses The Future’s Mine to Make could be the next Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. Or it could not be: Pavilions make their own future and that future starts now.