Review Summary: Before Their Eyes have lost their sound, and in attempt to find it, created a complete failure of an album.
Bands change, it's something we have to get over. Sometimes they mature and grow in their musical style, release a better album than before and continue on they're path to greatness. Most of the time though, bands try to "fit in" with the current scene, what kids are listening to and enjoying the most. At that point, you are no longer a stand out, you become yet another band wasted in an oh-so-boring cycle of genres. Before Their Eyes should've stuck at what they were good at, the sound that made them they're first self-titled full length. From then on, the band quickly went downhill and now they end here, with Untouchable, which is a complete and utter mess from start to finish.
The album is clearly split into two parts, the first half being slower, poppy love songs that seem to work, at very few moments. Think of it as a very clear rip off of Boys Like Girls. The second half of the album picks up the pace and brings back their post-hardcore sound, with breakdowns and the whole nine yards. The thing that ruins both of these aspects though, is the fact that they can't get either of these sounds right. With the opening track, Hey Dude!, the band goes back to basics and creates a very average, forgettable song. The one thing that saves this song, and most of the album, is vocalist Nick Moore, who has a fantastic range and singing voice. He's a strong singer, and he keeps most of these songs bearable to listen to. Sing to Me was one of the first songs to be released off the album, and right away you could hear the drastic change the band has made to their sound.
"I really don't know just where to start/ it's harder when were standing miles apart/ if I could dream I'd paint a scene but there is to much noise", is the opening lines to the song. It's a song meant to be sung to a girl, and this could've certainly been done really well. The band has potential as a softer pop band, but they do absolutely nothing new to make them stand out. The overused guitar riffs and completely forgettable chorus makes this song just another cliche. Not Alone continues the poppier sound, but it's one of my favorite songs of the album. The lyrics get to me personally and that's the major reason for me enjoying this song. This is Nick Moore at his strongest, it really shows the flexibility with his range. Throughout this entire album, drummer Jarret Hottman never really does anything to impress me, everything he plays is so simply put together that it never sticks out over the rest of the music.
Every band seems to need an acoustic song, and it's become extremely popular to throw in a guest vocalist. Start With Today features Kristen Williams, who I have never heard of before. The song is such a cliche that it's laughable. More sensitive listeners may find themselves caught up in the poor lyrics and soft sound, but everything about this song just feels overdone. The solo is nothing new or impressive, and the guitar riff in the chorus just sounds like more noise. This song is the end to the poppy portion of the album. Bulletproof starts fast and hard, but going from an acoustic love song to a harder, faster song feels so random it just doesn't work. Bulletproof follows the basic post-hardcore criteria, scream most of the verses, sing a little bit in the chorus and throw in a random breakdown. It's the exact same way with Finding A Way, the song is so averagely put together, it never gets noticed. Here, we get introduced to one of two good breakdowns on the album, and the breakdown in this song hits hard. It's short, but it's sweet. Guitarists Landon Tewers and Elliot Gruenberg throw in a few nice guitar riffs here and there, but this doesn't help with the oh-so-average sound.
Before Their Eyes decides to finally work a little harder on Hell or High Water, which is the hardest song on the entire album. As a closing song, it works so well. Nick's screams are just, meh, but they fit with this song. The only good breakdowns on this album are featured in this song, and they are noticeable, which is a good thing. Like everything else on this album, the song is simple, but these breakdowns made the entire song better. The end breakdown in the last 16 seconds is the best 16 seconds of the entire album, and that is extremely sad.
After the release of Untouchable, both guitar players and vocalist Nick Moore have left the band. It is not because of the failure that is Untouchable, but most of them left to work on their new side projects. There is a time where a band reaches it's end, where they have simply run out of idea's and decide to call it quits. If Before Their Eyes decides to keep going and find new members, I wish them luck. Most of that luck I wish them is for a better album, an album that knows it's sound and doesn't lose the listener in a complete mess of genre's. I looked forward to this release, just to be let down, it's unfortunate, but band's change, and in this case, for the worst.