The Survival Code are a London-based rock duo that have been making waves on Spotify with a hectic release schedule of a single every month last year. If that wasn’t enough, 2024 sees them releasing a full-length album called Whispers Of Woe. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that activity has proved invaluable in their development and while some will hear the Foo Fighters or maybe Biffy, I hear vocalist/guitarist/drummer and songwriter Gary McGuinness proving ever more adept at capturing the realities of life and wrapping those emotions in songs of quality and suitability.
Take opener ‘The Heart Will Bleed’, the riffy, weighty instrumentation is matched by a sterling vocal and lyrical effort that fans of Foo Fighters should lap up. The second track shows a touch more subtlety behind the roaring riff as the quieter passages allow reflection on the lyrics before we’re catapulted back into heavy sounds. The chugging riff sounds like a 70s rock single until the melodies develop and it becomes a heavier beast while staying magnificently melodic with a great (very short) guitar solo. ‘Haunted By Myself’ is startling lyrically and many (including me) will wonder how Gary knew how I sometimes feel… it’s wrapped in a frantic riffy intro but allows space for the heart of the song to hit home. ‘Waiting In The Wings’ is more frantic riffing with calmer interludes for the melodies and scores high with me for the (again too short) perfectly judged guitar solo. Closing the album is the dramatic/cinematic ‘Random Faces’ which showcases again the skill of Mr McGuinness as his instrumental and vocal prowess rides the waves of tender to harsh and out the other side!
The only word of warning, do not listen to this just once. That may tempt you into thinking “it sounds like…” but take it from me, after a couple of listens the only thing it sounds like is The Survival Code and a rewarding listening experience awaits.
Whispers of Woe is released on January 26th 2024.