Review Summary: Breakdown-heavy and arguably cliched as just another mediocre metalcore album, The Plot In You verges on deathcore with a surprisingly passionate and heavy debut.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
I'll admit it right here: I like good metalcore. Admittedly an overused and claustrophobic field of metal, it has been criticized for its overabundant use of breakdowns, emo lyrics, and above all, refusal of fresh material. Enter Findlay, Ohio natives The Plot In You.
Now, these guys will not change your mind if you are already pitted against the genre of metalcore due to aforesaid reasons. Each song is full of chugging and breakdowns, screaming, but a surprisingly little amount of clean vocals (only making a cameo in the song "Small Face"). The album opens with the title track, with atmosphere and the sound of a (assumed) husband and wife fighting. It rises and turns into a big and slow breakdown. This song is the weakest off of this EP because it is only one big breakdown, with the exception of eerie dissonant atmospheric sounds that occur at the 2:40 mark, which just ultimately morphs into another breakdown. This song is the reason the rating is not a 4.
Thankfully, the rest of the album picks up the pace with the song "Clots," which has the most unnecessary guest vocalist ever: Like Moths to Flames' vocalist Chris Roetter, who pretty much sounds like TPLY vocalist Landon Tewers, but with a far more limited range. Guest vocalist aside, this song fully displays Tewers' growls, which could easily front a full-on deathcore band, from the powerful low growls that border on pig-squeal at times, giving a sense of fury and desperation, complimenting the lyrics (which I will discuss later). In my opinion, the breakdown is different than traditional metalcore, utilizing multiple guitar tones and unpredictable rhythms.
"Molester" and "Abuser" unfortunately seem to melt together, because of their similar song structure, each ending with a one-note breakdown. Thankfully, "Bleeders" picks up the uniqueness, with its use of open and clean(ish) chords. Plus, the breakdown at the end, and its build-up is one of the highlights of the album. The distortion of the guitars (most seen in this song) seems to be straight out of a deathcore album, which, combined with Tewers' vocal approach, seems to have taken much influence from deathcore bands, such as Oceano (especially vocally here) or Suicide Silence.
"Guts" is a strange incorporation into the tracklist, because it's a 1 minute 22 second song on a 7-track EP. Not that it's a bad song by any means; in fact, it has some of the darkest atmosphere of the album. But why isn't it longer? "Small Face", the closing song is the climax of the release, being the only track with clean singing (it's also the only song incorporated in their later release "First Born"). The breakdown at the end of the song has strange rhythms that separate this song from the rest of the pack. Plus the initiation is fantastically angry: "You motherf**ker, I hope you burn in hell. I hope you know what you've caused me."
Speaking of this, the lyrics of The Plot In You are what separate them from the rest of the metalcore community. They have a theme, also continued in their full-length Rise Records debut: domestic violence and child abuse. It makes me fear the future of metal if a band (no names *cough cough* Emmure) drops f-bombs and swears just for the sake of being a bunch of badasses (see Emmure's song "Drug Dealer Friend"). But The Plot In You, because of their theme, has a right to be angry in their songs and utilize such language. Take the aforementioned lyrics from "Small Face", for instance. The song is all about sexual abuse, most likely from the father to the child. This is the most prominent example, but other lyrics include: "This house was trashed, fists were red with the blood of his children" ("Wife Beater"), "Dear Mr. Coleman, I hope your fingers rot. I pray that you will be the last of your kind" ("Molester"), "You've managed to disfigure me, I'm already ruined" ("Bleeders"), and "You creep up on me when she's not around, not around to save me. Why can't you just go away?" ("Small Face"). Although many will write TPIY's lyrics off as hyperbolic and emo, their content is very real to some.
In conclusion, "Wife Beater" is a passionate debut, combining furious and unique lyrics, complimentary vocals, and a dark, malevolent, and eerie sound. Written after "First Born" came out, I can surely say that these guys have a good thing going, and may they continue to do so.