Review Summary: Welcome back to the scene Akissforjersey
I thought I would not see the day that Akissforjersey would be back. It has been six years since the quintet have released an album. The band has been known for their complex guitar parts and two vocalist-style approach to post-hardcore. This album is laced with great vocal performances, better than what has been released before. Many of these songs tower above other bands in the genre for their ability to express the talent of each individual member at one time.
'New Bodies' is a Christian album. Each song is accompanied with a message in order to find a new and important spiritual side. The first track 'War' is an example of this type of lyrical content. The song is discussing the war from the point of view of both the spiritual and physical world. "The War is within you, there is no escape." The message of this song is sung/screamed over a blistering track. 'War' is a track that never slows down, traveling from riff to riff with ease. The song really explodes towards the end as vocalist Zach Dawson unleashes a high pitched "Overwhelming me," with passion. 'Revival' starts off with an open guitar note and a intense tom/bass roll from drummer Joey Allen. Every chorus finds Dawson swerving along a great melody, unleashing his other side of the range during the verses. 'The Sound of Revolution' starts off begins like a pop-punk song, with a chord progression being pushed by background group vocals as Dawson is heard in the foreground. It is not until the bridge where the band takes the song away from punk and releases a groovy breakdown to end the first three tracks. Featured on this track is Kevin Bryant.
Track four, 'DeathEater,' is one of the heavier tracks of the album. This song has a very simple progression, and to me the bridge breakdown felt very similar to what just happened at the end of track three. While being heavy, this song really did not do much for me. 'New Bodies' has a solid groove to start off, and features Dawson exploring his beautiful middle range in the pre-chorus, really showing how structured his vocal performance is. While showing a soft side, this song retaliates with a destructive bridge.
'Widow/Maker' is a ballad. I have always had this talk about many of the clean post-hardcore vocalists, but they have this knack for singing very seductively. It is awkward to write, but it is why they provide such a strong appeal the female fan base. It is a song like this that wins the hearts over of many fans, old and new. The song is simple and maintains a beautiful melody throughout. 'Dear Wayward' is a very linear song. The next song to discuss is 'Bones,' which features an acapella beginning that reminds me of what Underoath would do in the old days. This song is exploring the spiritual world and hoping to be redeemed. I do not understand the reason to split the songs 'Fell Short, Walk Tall,' and 'Blind and Bound,' seeing as the talking from the former is found at the beginning of the latter. Beyond that, the latter song features a passionate Dawson in full voice for a majority of the song, expressing a new found rasp in his clean singing. This is another heavy track for fans of the heavier side of this band. The closing track of the album, 'Everything New' features a piano ballad, progressing into a synth groove as drummer Joey Allen focuses on the snare drum. This has the feel of a love song, and it is, but I think the previous ballad on the album was more interesting.
'New Bodies' features a revived spark for the band Akissforjersey. This LP really shines in the first six songs. The last half (besides Blind and Bound) are less interesting. It would be unique if this band had a screamed chorus every once and awhile, because this album can still be predicted on what can happen in the next part. This small feature may have been why the last half felt more dry. For fans of the band, welcome back for a solid LP. Keep an ear open for the first couple of songs to be grooving in the tour cycle.