This Jacksonville quintet has got big plans. Their not just your average metalcore their willing to turn into pop rock while still blasting riffs down your ears at the same time. The problem is on this; their 3rd album is that it doesn’t always work.
Their self-claimed style is to effortlessly change through genres in single songs on this album. But there’s such little variety in even that, that is makes for some very repetitive listening. For all the brilliantly trashed riffs, there’s a bland chorus round the corner from guitarist/vocalist Craig Chaney’s boring, derivative vocals in an attempt to get much more accomplished than before.
This all said though there’s some brilliant moments here. Violent opener “Dogfight” begins with a poppy acoustic guitar riff (later revealed as a hidden track) only to blast into a very exciting medley of heavy riffs, Andrew Carey’s scream-a-long vocals and a catchy chorus.
But from thereon it just sounds like more of the same over and over again. But where this fails miserable compared to peers like Alexisonfire who use that same vocal arrangement, is that the vocals in their songs are kept exciting by variation, making them much catchier, fresh and affecting. On this album, ET’s repetitive formula sees all verses screamed all choruses’s sung, and that is about it.
However, there’s still evidence of their previous brilliance by creating very short fast hardcore songs, which blend both 80’s style and what we have today. “I say you he dead” stands at just over one minute and goes through fast bursts of haunting acoustic guitars and brutal vocals about a murder from Carey. While “The Smell of Summer” is what the rest of this album desperately wants to be, as it successfully combines heavy metalcore esc riffs and a catchy pop chorus.
It’s too little too late though on this only just above average album. Yeah, ET’s earlier work may not have been perfect, but at least they were focussed on what they were doing. This time they seem trapped in-between knowing where they were and how to turn it into something they want to do.