Whist it might be easy to box More Than Conquerors into the radio-friendly alternative-punk rock bracket cornered by the likes of Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic, the diversity and range of styles on their debut album Everything I’ve Learnt would make that a rash judgement.
The quartet from Belfast – Kris Platt (Vocals/Guitar), Danny Ball (Guitar), Danny Morton (Bass) and Jamie Neish (Drums) – formed in 2009 and have already released two EPs on the independent label Smalltown America.
Having supported the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Feeder and Ash on tour, the band released their self-titled debut in 2010 to acclaim and followed it up twelve months later with Boots and Bones. Bear Knuckle Fight from that 2011 release was added to the BBC Radio 1 playlist in July 2012 and their stock has continued to rise.
The band’s dynamic and affecting style has been developed further on their debut album release and the opening track, All That We Can, bursts right into action with fifteen seconds of thundering guitar and heavy-hitting drums. Softened by the following melodic vocal and the effect draws similarities with fellow post-hardcore outfit Exit Ten.
The Biffy Clyro-echoing in both instrumental and vocal of latest single, Pits of Old, follows and the relentless energy of the first three tracks then gives way to a more restrained and sensitive middle-part of the album, highlighting the diversity of sound and ideas the band are trying to implement.
Vocalist Kris Platt explains on their Smalltown America profile how, having been brought up within the church, the band’s name is taken from a bible quotation and the recurring themes of the record serve to evoke questions surrounding their personal and musical background.
Jaw muses on “what if we all die young?” whilst Bring Me to the Blood Bank, with its piano keys mirroring the lyrics and almost mournful backing vocal, creates a haunting poignancy. It’s interludinal and, at just over thirty-five minutes in length over eleven tracks, the LP rushes by in a blur at times adding savour to the diverse, more melodic and emotive moments at midway.
Everything I’ve Learnt has swathes of the alternative-punk rock sound akin to the likes of Biffy Clyro and Paramore whilst also “provoking the growth of new ideas”, as Platt laid out, in its lacing together of relentless energy with more reflective and emotive moments.
See the band’s debut album brought to life at their next and only current live gig scheduled at the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 13th February.
Words by Christopher Rainsford