Review Summary: A screamo 'n' roll album with well-crafted songs and a vengeance.
From the coarse, raw flurry of II’
s opening track, “We Fight With Swords,” it’s clear that Bravo Fucking Bravo know what the fuck they’re doing. The song is a great example of just how proficient the band is at switching from one infectious rhythm to another, and how willing they are to let their musical ideas (which are often great) breathe. All throughout II,
awesome screamo ‘n’ roll riffs weave around unpolished, menacing vocals, both stopping and starting occasionally to reveal the songs’ other nuances, nuances originally buried underneath all the viciously emotional madness.
The interlude in “Denelonette,” led by only drums and bass, the build-up passage, directed by a snare roll and a quieting of the guitar to make the vocals more prominent, in “Feed the Motherfuckers To the Sharks,” and the vocal harmonies and the breakdown in “Friends With all the Dead Kids” all signify that Bravo Fucking Bravo is very familiar with the aesthetic of letting a passage breathe, then smoothly transitioning it to another, and making sure that one hits hard enough to keep the listener on his toes, or hopefully, knock him off his feet.
With a thoroughly entertaining swagger and a fierce, almost vengeful energy, Bravo Fucking Bravo make sure they pull a lot of punches, even if sometimes they could use a bit more punch. A lot of II’
s tracks contain loud, anthemic lines repeated in an attempt to give the songs an epic, powerful edge. But a lot of these times, something feels missing. There just seems to be not enough oomph
in these passages to really
get me pumping my fist in the air and screaming along with the vocalist until my throat bleeds. Perhaps it’s the rather thin and inoffensive distortion on the guitars, or the very calculated drums, playing nearly the bare minimum throughout most of the album. Either way, if I’m not pumped up enough to start jumping up and down and screaming “if loose lips sink ships, I really hope you can swim
” in “Friends With All the Dead Kids,” I can still enjoy the ferocity dripping all over the lyric, along with a few others from that same song;
Tell me again about how you’re gonna burn this city down,
Tell me again about why you search for shit you know you’ll never find.
For every minute you spent contemplating the present,
Here’s a thousand wasted hours speculating on moments gone sour.
is emo with a vengeance, and an almost rock ’n’ roll-esque twist. It weaves, it pounds, it slides, it grinds, and it’s got some pretty catchy rhythms. Sometimes the punches it pulls could use a bit more punch, and sometimes they’re actually exaggerated a bit too much (the album could do without some of the layered screaming; the sing-scream harmonies are great, but the scream-scream ones get to be a bit cacophonous). But that doesn’t stop the album from still being a notably fun ride. With II,
Bravo Fucking Bravo act on their vendetta against you by bouncing, pounding and screaming all over you and your ears, and you enjoy it just as much as they do.