Released: 2005, Earache Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
This is best described as “Metallic Post-Hardcore.” It may be a bit too close to “modern rock” for some Extreme Metal enthusiasts, but Metalcore aficionados will worship it, and Hard Music/Aggro-Rock fans will bond with it in swiftness. It’s not terribly original, but it’s also a good deal better than the majority of competing releases.
I hear any number of artists on tracks such as “Dead For Weeks.” This could blend alongside (and stand up to) any number of Trustkill or Victory Records bands. Really, this should be opening up for Minus or It Dies Today somewhere. This could easily play Ozzfest, and completely slay many of the opening acts, by sheer determination alone.
The album opens strongly enough with “Let Them Drown,” which chugs and thrashes along menacingly until the less-convincing melodic croons begin. This really seems to be an Achilles Hell with this band—the obligatory clean vocals. Really, at this point in the game, the point-counterpoint dichotomy technique is so completely overdone as to be routinely ineffective, even when done well. Here it is merely “done,” neither well nor miserably. All in all, though, the opener remains among the most effective tracks on the CD—far more so, in fact, than the somewhat meandering single, “Dead For Weeks.”
The brooding distance of “Burning Surface” gives the drums a rare chance to shine—something rare in the post-punk, screamo and metalcore subgenres (all three of which Beecher partakes freely). Here, the melodic vocals are of much better effect, the frailty of the frontman’s voice lending credence to the emotional drama conveyed in the lyrics. The chaffing noise of “Floating Point,” which, while never seeming to coalesce into a coherent song itself, displays well the band’s versatility, leading into the guitar-happy post-punk of “The Only One I Know”—an album highlight. The album is largely hit (“An Important Letter”) and miss (“Red Diesel”) from thereon—one’s enjoyment of it being relative to the individual’s personal tolerance to Metalcore and Screamo-styled post-punk. It’s no Dillinger Escape Plan, but it’s still more honest than, say, Atreyu. Any hey, you get bonus tracks.
Therein lay the nail: The band is musically proficient, and most importantly, honest. Noticeably absent are any Swedish guitar riffs or token grindcore breaks. On one hand, yes, it’s a fairly en vogue style of music played by typical-looking hipster twenty-somethings, any one of which might have delivered your pizza last night, or served you a slushy at the mall; on the other hand, it’s actual pretty good at times. While not overly original or unique, the band has a number of good things going for them, and could very well go on to be quite huge with the right promotion.