Review Summary: Nights like these have finally embraced and used their Southern Doom/Sludge Roots.
Memphis, Tennessee, a city where a young B.B. King used to play on Beale Street, where Sun Studios and Graceland are located at, where you may see the sad sack NBA team called the Memphis Grizzlies play, or where you can attend/visit the University of Memphis. With a city with such a deep history of Blues, Rock n’ Roll, and Country Music, (see: Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, B. B. King, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Tina Turner, and the "Father of the Blues" W.C. Handy to name a few) how did a Chaotic Grind/Metalcore band come to exist in this city?
They built a large local following down here in the south and in early 2006; Victory records signed Nights Like These. They then soon entered the studio with Andreas Magnusson, known for his work with Black Dahlia Murder, and recorded their 26-minute masterpiece called We Are The Faithless. A common complaint with The Faithless was that it was just too short but to the point. Well fast forward to October 16th. Nights Like These have released their sophomore release, Sunlight At Secondhand
. It appears they have listened to their fans and the critics with the total playing time clocking in at 41 and a half minutes. Was it for the best or is this band at their best with short songs? First thing you’ll notice is that the Shortest song on this album is 2:08 compared to the shortest song on We Are The Faithless, which was 1:16. The second thing you’ll notice is that since their First EPs this band has matured for the sentence song titles to one to four word song titles.
The record starts out with someone in the studio asking, “Is it rolling?” After another spoken line, you are hit in the face with the growling vocals that then flow into a grooving type vocal pattern. This has always been a great aspect about the band, the vocals flow seamlessly. While listening to the vocals you can image yourself at one of their live shows, it is that raw. I usually like some melody and clean singing, but the cleaning singeing that sometimes pop up on this album is not that very good(Black The Sun
). The best vocals can be found on Claw Your Way Out
. It’s not the full on growls that the rest of the record has. It has shows him using his range to make the song sound different for the others. The vocalist should continue to experiment around with his vocal range and see if he can use it to the band’s advantage to stay out of an increasingly stale and generic scene.
The guitars are the bread and butter of this band as is show on Heart Of The Wound
. The Riffs are tasteful in regards to the song at that moment, are not overdone. They even add to the melody that is suppose to be in Metalcore, see Collective Unconscious
. The breakdowns are done great and when they pop out a solo they show their solo skill off very well, ex. Black The Sun
. When the vocals take a break, which they hardly did on We Are The Faithless, the guitars comes up front and holds everything down and makes the songs longer and dare I say it, more enjoyable. The best guitar intro is on Bay Of Pigs
, and leads into the riff which leads into a great soft solo. You can feel that the band loves the sludgy slow riffs as they sometimes use them in songs like Claw Your Way Out
and Empty Lungs
. These guitarists have the skills to make this band one of the frontrunners on the Grind/Metalcore scene if they continue to grow and improve on every little thing; every member of the band is in their early 20s.
If the guitars are the bread and butter, then the drums are the meat because they just plow you through with the songs, ex. Samsara
. The drums give the songs a great groove and will have you headbanging as soon as the song starts. The blast beats and bass drums are used the most, as in almost every other band, but, as is the case with the vocals, sound better because you can sense that live raw feeling to it. In Bay of Pigs
and Collective Unconscious
he uses a lot of cymbals and it goes wonderful with the guitars. The hardest hitting and fastest drumming is found on Empty Lungs
. It really proves that the drumming is the meat of the sandwich. This drummer knows what he needs to do and does it the way he wants to. He has a bright future with this band.
The band has finally shown where their true roots lie. They have shown use Metalcore infused with Grind, Doom, and Sludge metal. The longer playing time really helped them out and showcased their southern roots more then We Are The Faithless, or apparently The Faithless(Rant: Stupid iTunes Ripping). The vocals showed more range, the guitarists had more time to shine, and the drummer went on and did his thing. My only minor complaint is the clean singing on Track 2.