Review Summary: It's with 'Revived' that we find a band still trying to find their roots, yet still creating a solid sophomore release that delivers exactly what's expected and a tad bit more.
It’s been a rapid few months for the New Jersey based Us, From Outside when it came down to recording their second full length, Revived
. Originally entering the studio with intentions of leaving with an EP, a dispute of some kind had erupted between singer Michael Crimlis and the rest of the group, resulting in his departure from the band. Bassist Kenny Davis stepped up taking over all singing duties and on went recording. Here we sit now a whole two months since the incident and Revived
has officially hit stores, as a full length instead of the intended EP that was announced. To say that this sophomore effort is a step forward to the band would be a little excessive, the band keeps the post-hardcore style we heard in Inspired By the Threat of Failure
and just tweaks it in small ways to create a little more of a well rounded album. With most improvements lying with the vocals and production, Us, From Outside stays exactly where they’re comfortable with their sound and that is what helps this album out most.
One of the biggest improvements here are the vocal performances, especially from replacement Kenny Davis. Familiar to Crimlis in tone and technique, his biggest standing moments can be found within the albums slower tracks. From the softer, deeper tone he presents during the opening verse of ’Your Heart And Mine’ to the sudden strength and raise in tone during the end of the song when the tempo picks up a little bit. His range works greatly when he’s presented with variation, fitting in perfectly with the acoustic styled ’Because You Asked’, where we also see him switching up singing duties with guitarist Steve Novoa. The two together work so well sometimes I just wish we could have heard more of that vocal switch. There’s this almost undeniable chemistry between screamer Jimmer Steiner and Davis that works extremely well through most of the more technical vocal arrangements. When placed back to back with each other, there are no awkward vocal transitions or anything, it just flows very nicely.
There is a fair amount of technicality to be heard here, most of it being pushed into the background unfortunately, but it’s still there and heard a fair bit. Both guitarists support each other well, most of the time we get the basic set up as one chugs away to the rhythm, the other creates a few above average guitar lines just to open up the variety level a bit. The opening riff to ’Putting A Face to Fear’ is the most technical the song gets, for most moments after the first thirty seconds rely on breakdowns to continue forth. It’s one of the very few songs to have this approach, but it comes together to create the most energetic track on this album. There is that abundance of breakdowns sometimes that can get annoying to some, but a majority of the time they last no more than 10-15 seconds and are usually followed by something a little more appealing.
“We’re not kids anymore”, softly chants the band as the second to last song, ‘Because You Asked’ comes to a close. A song that lyrically appeals around growing up and getting on with your life, it was this one track that I felt the album should’ve really ended on. Sure it’s quite of a pace change, but it really sums up what Us, From Outside and many other bands have done. They’re out here creating music for people to enjoy, people will hate it, that’s just a fact of life, but it’s a tough run being in a touring band and all that endless traveling really takes a toll on your mind. It’s with Revived
that we find a band whose still trying to find their roots, getting through a pretty big member change and still creating an equal album to their great debut without taking away or adding too much. It’s all in due time until we finally see Us, From Outside finding their true sound and creating that one really memorable album, but for now things are remaining pretty steady, and that’s not something to complain about.