Ryan- Drums, Vocals
2. Body Breaker
In the two years since their formation, Brooklyn bunch Thera Roya have been busy, releasing their debut EP in October 2013, followed by a pair of splits, then the single, Fat Voyage, and now their latest EP, “Unraveling”. Designed to soundtrack the arduous experience of a mental panic episode, this EP sees the New Yorkers draw on influences from Pelican, Neurosis and Isis to create a vast, cinematic sounding three track emotional exploration.
At just under thirty minutes, the EP feels chunky as you press play and bite into the thick, sludgey riffs that open “Anomie”. The guitars are caked in distortion, the drums immersed in chorusey reverb, creating a dense sonic layer which wobbles, completely cracks, then is built back up again all in one song. Vocalist Ryan Smith is near theatrical in his convincing vocal delivery, which ranges from strangled yelps to sinister, schizophrenic snarls. The three piece have triumphed in their attempts to convey a mental trauma through music, but at the same time, this album has its instantaneous moments. Guitar notes bent to disfigurement sound spontaneous and moving, whilst the groove fuelled, head bopping energy that begins “Body Breaker” is more than a joy to engage with.
For a band in their earlier stages, Thera Roya sound tight and professional, especially when the unpolished production that grits this EP is considered. The economical use of vocals is a feature that helps characterise this band by adding massive emotional impact when the panicked shrieks ring through the speakers, sure to be remembered by every listener, and by exploring all moods and atmospheres, Thera Roya guarantee you feelings of sedation one moment, then bursts of vital energy the next. An experience that comes recommended.