Review Summary: With In Medias Res, pmtoday have given Post-Hardcore fans something to be excited about in 2010
You never forget your first crush. In the span of my musical evolution, it all began with the world of Post-Hardcore at the beginning of the 'oughts. Even though I have since moved on to other likes, the genre still holds a spot in my heart. How could it not with albums like The Illusion of Safety
, Full Collapse
, and Doppelganger
? That's why I still keep my ear to the ground, looking for the bands that are trying to keep Post-Hardcore afloat through its ups and downs. Interestingly enough, my latest find, pmtoday, a band consisting of four brothers from Arkansas, comes from a label that has carved out its existence by personifying the most vapid and cliché aspects of the scene, Rise Records. Talk about not judging a book by its cover!
In Medias Res
is a musical cornucopia of technical prowess wrapped around a core of some of the sugariest hooks imaginable. Don't let its introductory track fool you. Everything after the somewhat lackluster balladry of 'Thoughts in Transit' is a musical roller coaster, turning on a dime, shifting from delectable delay driven leads to rising sing-a-long choruses, crazed stop start riffing to enchanting calm. It's one hell of a ride. Lead guitarist Cuinn Brogan, taking ques from The Fall of Troy's Thom Erak, is constantly sprinting across his fretboard with nimble hammer-on pull-off licks that, to his credit, stay within the confines of good taste, displaying his skill without sacrificing flow or letting it lapse into a self-indulgent wankfest.
Lyrically, In Medias Res
is faceted around the insecurities and shifting social constructs of a young adult. Faith, relationships both personal and family based, and realizing that the world has no qualms with knocking you flat on your ass if it so feels inclined to do so seem to be the biggies. pmtoday are lyrically at their best when they are at their most honest, like in 'I Am Wrong' where Connor Brogan croons in his ever present falsetto, “Am I wrong if I lose my faith?/ If I forget about and miss your birthday?/ You're a dead-end job I hate/ A dingy apartment I can't afford to pay.”
At times the rhymes can come off as forced, causing a grimace or two, but it is easy to overlook given their overall sincerity.
With their Rise Records debut pmtoday have penned what will likely end up being one of the best Post-Hardcore albums to come out in 2010. In Medias Res
fires on all cylinders, delivering all the flair and personality of such genre heavyweights as Dance Gavin Dance and Circa Survive. Sure, it may not rack up the points for originality, but it's done right and done with style. What more could you ask for?