Hardcore heavy with so many excursions into melody, you might forget they are hardcore. The CD opens with the title track, a raging over the top jam of yells, riffs with a huge drum presence and gets the blood pumping proper.
“Rookie” follows quickly with a spikey picked lead rhythm and turns the corner more on a rock song with slight pop hook. They keep tearing it up with “Pariah Under Glass” – quick stop/starts thrown ontop of steady drums that break into a huge roll of shoutin’ core angst (one of the best songs on here, easy).
It’s like Boy Sets Fire were weaned on poppier punk but took the path of the more aggressive east coast mentality. The result being aggressive rock that disguises itself in a punk veneer, but continually throws a large amount of attention toward creating a less abrasive approach. Think Snapcase with a snotty punx influence and slightly more dynamic singer.
The band tries to sneak a couple of radio nuggets in here also, and frankly, they don’t fly. Songs like “When Rhetoric Dies”, “My Life in the Knife Trade” aren’t as bad (well, that Knife Trade has some pretty sappy breakdowns) as much as they pale in wimpish fashion to the edgier songs. They might serve to crack the radio market if that’s what they’re shooting for, but for fans of the genre they are weak and we patiently wait for them to rip.
The drum beats and general vibe of the breakdown in, “The Abominations of Those Virtous” is completely fresh and makes it a standout track. The Toolish tint of “(Compassion) As Skull Fragments On The Wall” (man, I like their titles) rolls along with a pushing tempo and has singer Nathan Gray giving some of his best vocal work on the entire disk. Some really great songs here that are worthy of sifting through some more forgettable ideas.