Review Summary: What was originally a luck of the draw purchase, turned into one of the best album's I've ever heard!
There are those random times when you suddenly don't want to listen to any of the music you own. Most people would deal with this in two ways; either don't listen to music that day (which is impossible for me), or buy new music. I (as I always do) decided to go and buy an album by a band I found off of random underground rock sites. The only thing I'd heard from the band is the previews on iTunes on maybe 2 or 3 songs. I go all in; 10 bucks isn't that bad of a loss if it sucks, and it sounds decent enough. I saw their biggest hit off this album was "Picture Perfect", and figured it would be the best song on the album. It was also the first song I decided to listen to (I have no idea why, since it's not the first song on the record). It sounded good, and I was fine accepting the fact that it probably heard the best this band had to offer... but man was I wrong!
After finishing the 12 songs (the intro isn't a song, it's just marching with a couple words about honoring the military) I realized that "Perfect Picture" was one of the four WORST songs on the album. I couldn't believe it! I was honestly waiting for bad songs, which never came. "Sacrifice Say" is the closest Burning Borders got to a bad song, with a chorus that starts off decent, but ends each phrase with an awkward pitch change and vocal construction. It just doesn't fit the song and seems forced. Besides this, "Beauty School Drop Out" gave the closest resemblance to a ballad on the album, but still wasn't horrible. It just seemed like decent filler with a really weird title. The middle of the chorus is the catchiest part of the song, but you would probably hope for more. The acoustic guitar is catchy throughout the song, and the lyrics aren't half bad. "Follow" is one of the heaviest songs, that most will probably hate first listen, but the chorus is actually very catchy, but is slightly covered up by the weird verses and instrumentals and the awkward transition from verse to pre-chorus.
Now that I’ve covered the worst songs off the album that aren’t as bad as I probably made them sound, but they don't compare to the awesomeness of the other tracks. So I'll hit the highlights. "Beautiful", "Sleep", and "Leading" all follow similar song layouts, but they are executed to where you can tell the difference between the three tracks. "Beautiful" is my personal favorite, with a very catchy chorus, interesting drum parts and guitar work, and terrific bridge. The swap from screaming, "You’re beautiful" to "You’re pitiful" was terrific. "Sleep" is a close second, with a chorus just as catchy as "Beautiful", good lyrical work, and solid instrumentals. "Leading", which I found out was their first single, has beautiful verses that lead into a great chorus. The singer's voice sounds unique and fresh throughout the entire song. "Cold" is a unique song that goes into a swing feel. The chorus is one of the weakest on the album, but the verses are probably my favorite off the album; great lyrics throughout the song. The bridge reminds me of the "mommy" part in "Down with the Sickness" by Disturbed, but not as demented and terrifying. "Last Inhale" is easily the heaviest song on the album with catchy guitar riffs, and a unique chorus. The chorus starts off screaming, then switched to singing, and repeats. It’s a change of pace from the rest of the songs. "Given Up" and "Disposable" both sound similar to me. "Disposable" has a catchier guitar part, but "Given Up" has a much catchier chorus. The last song "Perfect Picture" starts off with catchy strings, a drum machine, and guitars. The real drums and electric guitars kick in and we hear one of the best verses from Burning Borders. The chorus is slightly disappointing and the end of the phrase kills it. The bridge doesn't add too much to the song and instrumentals sound stale after the epic beginning.
Overall, this is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. Their drummer has become one of my favorites to listen to and his work isn't nearly as repetitive as 80% of bands today. The guitars (while not my expertise) were nice, and catchy. I honestly don't know how original they were, but I enjoyed them on select songs. The vocalist has a great voice and clean vocals and screams all come out nicely. I would recommend this album to everyone who’s a fan of original hard rock and not the same Rev Theory/Adelitas Way mix.
All except "Beauty School Drop Out", "Sacrifice Stay", and "Follow", but with the worst songs still being average, it's just as cheap to just buy the whole album.