Rock newcomers In The Cards have come a long way from their days as school friends in the Midlands town of Stoke-on-Trent. Their delicious combination of soaring melodies, energetic choruses and moments of heaviness is now just weeks away from being unleashed upon the ears of the world with their debut EP.
The quartet of Amy Colclough (vocals), Danny Jones (guitar and vocals), Nathan Petherick (bass) and Conor Chambers (drums) have been playing music together since high school, where they steadily evolved from friends into bandmates. As Amy explains: “As we became older our connection to music and relationship as a band only became stronger, to a point where we realised that this is what we want to do with our lives. We take inspiration from many aspects of life, our songs can stem from personal experiences, emotions, observations and more.”
The debut EP Eyes Beyond Reflection is out on 22 June, and it’s an impressive introduction to the band. It opens up with debut single Mazes, which begins with Amy’s light vocals “You used to be someone that I looked up to but now you’ve become so much less to me” with dreamy guitar chords in the background.
Drums and guitar chords kick in as Amy’s vocals pick up in the lyrics “You need to change your ways, Find your horizons, You must fight to be more than a memory, More than a memory.” A singalong pre-chorus picks up the pace with the lyrics “Have you ever tried, have you ever tried, scream from the top of your lungs, You’re ready for greatness,” which leads into a bigger, faster chorus with cool backing vocals answering Amy’s lead vocals.
A darting guitar riff comes in during a more upbeat second verse that leads into another chorus, then everything drops out for a gradually building bridge filled with bursts of guitar chords. A fast-paced riff with cool piercing effects jumping in takes over and gives way to a final blast of the chorus. It’s an impressive opening to the EP, and you can check it out in the video below:
Next, Beautiful Silence opens up with a little burst of guitar that gives way to rocky guitar chords and pounding drums in a lively intro. Fast-paced, delicate vocals take over with light piano and distant guitar support, then a lone cry of “Every time I breathe feels like I’m inhaling a flood” leads into a big singalong chorus dominated by Amy’s impressive powerful, high-pitched vocals. The second chorus gives way to a smash of guitar chords then a slowly ascending and descending guitar solo, which leads into a final chorus.
The Only Thing, which is the latest single to be released, begins with a light guitar lick that’s soon joined by keyboard chords and drums that form the support for an opening verse dominated by Amy’s engaging vocals. A big singalong “You are the only thing that I can’t run from.” A more lively second verse follows with more intense vocals and guitars in support, flowing into another singalong chorus. That’s followed by synced up keyboard and guitar chords with fast-paced guitar bursts joining over the top, and leading into a final chorus. Check it out in the stream below:
The pace drops down a little in Careful Eyes, which opens up with a light keyboard intro that’s soon joined by a light jumpy guitar lick under Amy’s vocals. The bass kicks in as the vocals increase in intensity, eventually building up towards a powerful chorus supported by heavier guitars. The second chorus gives way to a drawn-out guitar solo, then the pace drops right down before building up to a heavier ending.
The EP ends in style with the impressive Hollow Hearts, which brings out the band’s rockier moments. A light flickering guitar riff kicks things off, then Amy’s vocals open up “You don’t see yourself, Don’t you know when you look in the mirror you’re looking at someone else.” The light guitars fade out then pick up again through a second verse that ends in the chorus lyrics “I won’t hold my breath, I will be back here one day, You were my life now you’re dead to me.”
A distorted guitar kicks in then pounding drums accompany faster vocals as the song kicks into life, with fast-paced looping guitars. A huge singalong chorus follows, then a laid-back guitar solo acts bridges into another building verse with fast-paced repeating guitars building the tension, which explodes in another big chorus.
This is a hugely enjoyable EP, largely dominated by Amy’s awesome vocals but with plenty of rocky instrumental goodness in support. On the EP, Amy tells us: “We are beyond excited for the EP to be released and we feel that it is a perfect opportunity for people to get a much more solid idea of what kind of band we are.
“So far only two singles from the EP have been released, which is not a whole lot of music to listen to. We hope that the release of the full EP will help to further establish our identity within our audience and the industry. People can take away whatever they wish from the EP, but we hope that it gives people inspiration and empowerment.”
They worked with legendary producer Romesh Dodangoda to record their debut, on whom Amy told us: “Working with Romesh was an unforgettable experience for us. It was our first time working with a producer of that calibre and what he brought to our music elevated it to a new level. He gave us the sound and production we were striving for.”