Review Summary: Showing signs of a band in need of growing up, a little more on the creativity level and some variety could have brought this EP to a whole new level, but instead playing it safe from the start makes it just pretty good.
As the world grows older and older, technology is one thing that will never come to a slow down. If something new isn’t coming out each and everyday, than it’s sure in production somewhere hoping to become the next big money grabber. Technology shapes music, and ever since the beginning of music we’ve grown to hear new additions and little bonuses brought forth by groups in order to enhance their sound or just make themselves their own because they have something nobody else has yet. Synth has more or less changed a ton of modern genres, whether you look at it used in pop-punk, metal groups or even more recently the metal core genre. Synth isn’t anything new, it’s been there but more as a background effect rather than an essential addition, but more and more do we see it playing that bigger part in music and actually becoming a large bonus to a bands sound.
A Bullet for Pretty Boy is a group that uses synth to their advantage, it’s not just in the back hoping to make a breakdown sound cooler, it surrounds the entire song creating a sense of ambience. The band leans on it as an essential tool to bring a sense of height and sound, one thing that becomes overused when placed wrongly. This Texas grown electronic ore group aren’t exactly placing themselves outside of their genre, their flaws are as scattered as most other groups sharing this sound, but when it all comes down to execution, here is a band that knows how to lay it down right. Opening track Dial M For Murder
grips it’s listener and pulls you in without hesitation, exploding into that synth surrounding attack of music the energy is placed at it’s highest point and isn’t too quick to let up. Vocalist Danon Saylor is a talented individual, bouncing back and forth between his ranged screams and could-use-some-work-but-good singing voice with no problem at all.
Beers, Beets, Battlestar Galactica
shows their fine use of synth right from the start, as a multilayered spacey synth rhythm sets the mood for the track, it works so well as not only a pretty good attention catcher but a nice opening to what’s to come in the song. There is a good amount of energy that is brought forth by this track, as the guitars keep everything on simpler terms and the drums blast their way through the song, we notice how capable this band is at shining in their genre. As we continue through the EP though, we notice that the group is one layered, keeping within their comfort level and creating a few songs that aren’t exactly the easiest to pick apart from one another. The Hope I Confide In
is a nice little example of this, for the chorus is the only thing in the song that we can really look out as a stand out during the track. The breakdowns continue to break down and the synth continues doing what it’s mean too, but where is all that excitement built up earlier?
Skipping over the by-the-books little interlude, the energy is picked back up with the final two tracks, This Is My Pale Horse
and Beauty in the Eyes of the Beholder
. This is certainly the point where the lack of ideas are noticed and the band just seems to be doing whatever they have to in order to have you finish out the EP. This is My Pale Horse
is a nice instrumental stand out track, as the guitars riff their way through a few of the first verses, they make their mark here with that track. As a closer, the title track is completely appropriate. Opening heavy, that energy is slightly brought back down as the chorus begins to play, but where is the hook? Nothing here really manages to pull you in, and the band ends up just breaking it down again in the same style they always have keeping it safe. Sometimes playing it safe if the way to go though as this track doesn’t end up being the worst, as towards the end the synth kicks back in and the layered vocals work up to a nice bridge which ends up exploding into the furious and heavy ending.
‘Beauty in the Eyes of the Beholder’ is in no way a bad listen, it’s really good when you look at the genre and what’s being pushed out more recently, and that’s because A Bullet for Pretty Boy use their synth wiser than other groups. At the same time though, we have to look at how much we can go back and listen to this again. We need hooks, we need a reason to sit around and just want to hear maybe a track or two again. It’s easy to pick a song to really like on here, but when everything else around it sounds the same where is the ambition to hear it all again? Pure signs of needing to grow up are found here, in time having to notice what is wanted and what isn’t will shape the group without completely taking their sound away from them. With all the work it might need though, talent is one thing the band has shown here, now all they need to is to deliver the variety.