Review Summary: Hardcore bursting at the seams.
Fun Fact: During the making of this album, almost every member was still in high school. Let me say that again, in high school. With this much talent at such a young age, this band is destined for great things.
The Carrier and a band such as Frodus share similarities (deal with me here). It’s not in the music, but in the albums they have made. With Frodus’ final album, “And We Washed Our Weapons In The Sea,” Frodus practically took every idea of the post-hardcore genre and brought it to absolute perfection, but did just about nothing in originality. The Carrier is pretty much like that to an extent. They take the genre of melodic hardcore, and every idea of it, and push it the threshold of near perfection, creating an absolutely pounding experience of anger, rage and an overall sense of emotions. Unlike Frodus though, The Carrier do happen to throw in some sentiments of originality.
It may not come and smack you in the face; rather the originality is very subtle. Such as how the album revolves in a full circle from instrumental to instrumental. To how the last two tracks “One Year Later…” and “…Everything Has Changed” flow into a beautiful, elegant, almost post-rock like fashion. They already have the aspects of melodic hardcore down, so they experiment in this fashion. Sure, maybe they didn’t want to experiment so much on their first debut, maybe to build a solid fan base first, but it’s evident that they’re at the top of the game already. The Carrier trumps much of hardcore to in the amount of passion they play with. You can feel it in every second, every note, every scream and every bang of the drum kit. Almost never in my life before have I truly felt such expressive and heart-felt emotion ripped through my speakers before.
The album also not only has a pure beauty in the amount of emotions that are portrayed throughout the album, but the lyrics that vocalist Anthony Traniello belts out. Songs such as “Nineteen Years Strong” tell the story of Anthony himself, and all other teenagers, that have a disbelief in a higher power and how he feels abandoned by this so called higher power in his true times of need. “Alcatraz” talks about speaking your own mind and living your own life. It tells a story of a man who has always been told what to do and has always agreed to doing these things. He now decides to leave his own Alcatraz and start to think for himself. Perhaps the most personal song on here though is “Stranded.” It’s a song that is so deep and personal, that reading along with the lyrics you can’t help but connect with the song. It tells the story of losing a person you’ve loved and held so close to you, and you taking that person for granted. And one day, just out of the clear blue, their gone, and you never had the time to tell them how much you loved them and appreciated them. The lyrics of this album are truly of top-notch quality and top-notch beauty. One of the true moments the album shines in beauty though is the final two tracks; from the incredibly emotional “One Year Later…” to the incredibly emotional “…Everything Has Changed,” you get a sense that The Carrier have insight for the future, throwing in some small progressive ideas. “…Everything Has Changed” doesn’t rely on vocals at all for beauty, because there are none. A completely instrumental track, the guitars mostly have no distortion, and drift the album’s closer in an almost post-rock like fashion. The song builds up minute after minute, the guitars layering with more and more depression and rage second through second. It also allows the album to almost give a sense of the revolving door of life and death, with the beginning and end being instrumentals. And they’re both not just filler sort of instrumentals, they are works of art.
The mistakes I've made I must my live with
But at this point I'm not sure how long that'll be
Fifteen minutes away, two thousand miles astray,
You left me like a ghost town to fall and decay
I'll be stranded on my own
The instrumentation of this album is also something different from most of hardcore. It may not be the most inventive technical riffs this side of the music world, but The Carrier incorporates a lot of melody between their guitars throughout the whole album. The drummer leads the band through a straight line throughout the album, guiding all the tempo shifts and signature changes. The bass can be heard throughout the album, providing big, booming lows; but sadly, he just doesn’t do much to differentiate himself from the guitars and the rest of the pack. It is truly one of the small downfalls of this album that you don’t hear the bass player as often as you like to, and when you do here him, he’s not playing anything much different than the guitars are. There also aren’t many breakdowns on this album, a sign of grace seeing as how breakdowns have seemed to become the laughing stock of music nowadays.
The Carrier has a vision. They have everything a fan of melodic hardcore could want, and then more. For the age of most of these members (3 out of 5 or 4 out of 5 were still in high school at the time of this recording) it’s amazing to see such incredible talent in such young souls. This gives me more hope for this band than pretty much any band that is bursting out of the music scene nowadays. This band is truly destined to be something. It would be a great shame, and I would pity you very much, if you decide to sleep and overlook this album. You truly do not know what you’re missing.