Parkway Drive
Killing with a Smile


3.5
great

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
October 27th, 2005 | 333 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


After a split with I Killed The Prom Queen, support slots for Chimaera and In Flames, an EP of their own, sold out live shows and more hype than any other Australian hardcore band has ever had, Parkway Drive release their debut full length. Featuring production from Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage, as well as landing themselves a spot on the ARIA charts, Parkway Drive are already making it in the mainstream hardcore scene.

Parkway Drive
Winston McCall - Vocals
Luke Kilpatrick - Guitars
Jeff Ling - Guitars
Ben Gordon - Drums
Shaun Cash - Bass

Parkway Drive bring their own brand of hardcore onto the scene with Killing With A Smile. With ripping guitar work, vicious screams and growls and a sound that is unashamedly Australian, Parkway Drive are not only making waves in their home country, but also overseas. Most people who think of Byron Bay think of hippies and bead shops. Underneath all of the tourist attractions, however, is a flourishing hardcore scene. At the forefront is Parkway Drive, one of the most powerful bands in Australian hardcore. While they aren't doing anything incredibly new, their sound has a unique flavour. Breakdowns appear on almost every song, some of them being great, others being standard metalcore fare. Their EP, Don't Close Your Eyes was fast, brutal and punishing. On Killing With A Smile, Parkway Drive take it further with songs like "Blackout" showing a new, much more deathy sound, while the breakdown in "Picture Perfect, Pathetic" is an extremely heavy moment, even for a band such as this. The album breakdowns have quite a few catchy moments and there are even a couple of softer points throughout. The album truly stands out during it's more melodic points, noticibly influenced by European melodic death metal acts such as Soilwork. Leading the way for an international breakout of Australian hardcore, Parkway Drive's debut is a very worthwhile album.

Musically, Parkway Drive are as good as they come for Australian hardcore. Lyrically, it's obvious that they still have a way to go. Although there are some great one liners throughout the album, the overuse of a certain four letter word, as well as some just downright crap lines ("cry me a fuckin river, bitch") detract from the album. Although the lyrics are generally sub par, the vocal performance is excellent. Possessing a range and versatility that many hardcore vocalists don't have, McCall is brilliant as both a frontman and a vocalist for Parkway Drive. While the intensity of a live Parkway Drive show is hard to duplicate on record, Dutkiewicz does a great job of bringing out McCall's vocals. The production overall is thick and chunky. Though Killing With A Smile is being sensibly marketed with the fact that Dutkiewicz did produce it, the production is actually nothing special at all. Though not particularly good, it certainly isn't bad and it does get the right mix of instruments (though the drums could perhaps be a bit louder). The drumming is, indeed, a great part of the album. Ben Gordon has certianly found an excellent style, which fits the music of Parkway Drive perfectly. Guitar wise, the two guitarists manage to pull out some ripping solos which allow them to show off their ability without being detrimental to actual songs.

The album includes some good soft moments, most notably at the end of "Romance Is Dead" and at the beginning of "It's Hard To Speak Without A Tounge". These soft parts are something that the band are good at and should be taking far more advantage of. Fan favourite "Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em" puts the band's live intensity on display. As "Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em" was a highlight of their last EP, Parkway Drive have added some better production and sounds to the track. Along with opener "Gimme A D", "Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em" sums up everything that Parkway Drive are about, crushing riffs, heavy breakdowns, melodic guitar parts, technical drumming and emotional intensity all feature in these two songs (both of which are avaliable for listening on the band's myspace). The emotional lead and riff at the end of "Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em" is particularly amazing. All in all, Killing With A Smile is a great effort from Parkway Drive. To realise that the band have come to this from nothing in just two years is astounding. Aside from some minor issues which will hopefully be fixed up on later releases, Parkway Drive have an extremely bright future ahead of them. If you live in Australia, make sure you catch them live either on their headlining tour, or their tour with Every Time I Die.

Pros
Great guitar riffs and solos
Some really beautiful and emotionally intense parts
An all around kickass album

Cons
Some shoddy lyrics
Lacks variation at times
Breakdowns are overdone and are all pretty similar

Links
[url=www.parkwaydriverock.com]Parkway Drive's Official Website[/url]
[url=www.myspace.com/parkwaydrive]Parkway Drive at Myspace[/url]

FINAL RATING: 3.5/5



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user ratings (1360)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Benjamino Jackanory (4)
Melodic, rage-filled and barrels of fun; Parkway at their unadulterated best...

dunksman23 (5)
This is what fusing metal and hardcore is all about...

Danie (4)
It's metalcore and it's not egregious. Seriously....


Comments:Add a Comment 
SickoKid
October 27th 2005


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes, brilliant review. I am listenting to the album as we speak, and I love it.

Malice
October 27th 2005


11 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It was well written, I enjoyed reading it. Well done Andrew.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
October 27th 2005


2125 Comments


Thanks guys

I'm seeing these guys live for the second time next month. Should be good.

Drummin4eva
November 11th 2005


4 Comments


does any one have the lyrics to this album? if so can anyone please email them to no_tomorrow_ahxc@hotmail.com thnx heapz

br3ad_man
Emeritus
January 26th 2006


2125 Comments


I saw these guys at Big Day Out and the singer made the crowd yell the "so cry me a fuckin' river bitch" line.


Reywas
January 26th 2006


148 Comments


br3ad is there a band you aren't seeing live?
good review, deserves a vote

My_sweet_Shadow
January 29th 2006


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this band is truely one of the the best things to come out of australia when i first head em they blew my socks off with there crushing riffs to there fukin leathal breakdowns this band owns.This Message Edited On 01.29.06

br3ad_man
Emeritus
January 30th 2006


2125 Comments


I wrote this when I was less familar with hardcore. This band are still a lot better than most Australian hardcore bands, but they're pretty meh overall.


br3ad is there a band you aren't seeing live?
good review, deserves a vote


Many, sadly.

RunAmokRampant
January 31st 2006


228 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review. Can't say toomuch about the album/band though. The Australian hardcore scene is basically a duplicate of the American one (where hardcore basically started). Except for Mindsnare. Hot damn that's a kick ass band.

Tam-Tam
February 23rd 2006


93 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Regardless of what people think of these guys personally, they play an absolutely unbelievable live set. I've seen them a number of times at smaller venues and they just completely overwhelm the crowd with a basic onslaught on loudness, nicely performed death growls and HEAVY breakdowns.

They're maturing as a band and there is a marked improvement in their sound from their EP to this. More polished, louder, heavier; everything is just that few notches 'crisper'. Some people won't like this though...simply because its better. Thats the funny thing with the harcore scene in Australia (and possibly the world over)....if you're better than you used to be, because you evolved and learned how to make better music; you sold out.

For some reason "professionalism" is a dirty word with the scensters.

Bunch of hypocrites. This Message Edited On 02.23.06

CoF
February 28th 2006


25 Comments


i seeing these guys in April. Should be fun.

Malice
March 24th 2006


11 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Not to mention Andrew that they are in fact metalcore.

pattern_recognition
March 24th 2006


950 Comments


Didn't expect to like this much, as I wasn't a fan of the EP, but I'd have to say this was one of the best Aussie albums of the year...excellently written and arranged, not to mention they had Adam D. twiddling the knobs for them.
Of course, that means that instrumentally they sound exactly like KsE, but hey, who's complaining? Not I.
Excellent album.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
March 25th 2006


2125 Comments


Not to mention Andrew that they are in fact metalcore.


They're still a major part of the hardcore scene.

I think I'm seeing these guys again soon. I like seeing them live.

Tam-Tam
April 1st 2006


93 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They're easily one of the better live acts the Australian metal/hardcore scene has produced in a some time.
Even as I tire a bit of this CD and its replay value decreases....I won't turn down a chance to get out and see them on stage. They have complete command of the fans and its always a great tear up.

frasermiller
May 4th 2006


25 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love listening 2 muntiny great track, my friends are obessed with this album. They did well at luna park!!

ryanagainstdamachine
May 16th 2006


8 Comments


Hey,

I was just wondering about Parkway Drive. I've got a friend who is absoultely obsessed with them, and she said that I might like them. I like metal bands such as Slayer, Metallica and Tool. Would you recommend Parkway Drive to me?

Good review by the way.

Clayman555
June 4th 2006


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"So cry me a fucking river bitch"

I didnt really know what to think when i heard this lol...
Nice guitar work on this album, different than what is going on here in the states. But i feel this album gets old pretty fast.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 5th 2006


2125 Comments


Yeah, it does. I like this band for listening to when I want to listen to music that I don't need to think about much. And they're good live. Their live show is where it's at.

I was just wondering about Parkway Drive. I've got a friend who is absoultely obsessed with them, and she said that I might like them. I like metal bands such as Slayer, Metallica and Tool. Would you recommend Parkway Drive to me?


You may dig them. They're quite a bit heavier than any of those bands and they're not really a metal band, but they have a enough metal in them that metalheads turn up at their shows a fair bit.

pattern_recognition
June 5th 2006


950 Comments


Gimme A.D. makes me smile. But like, in an evil way, you know?
Good stuff.



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