Review Summary: Originality is one of the many things you will not find in this debut, but they could have done so much better.
Like Moths to Flames presents the return of Chris Roetter, who was formerly the lead vocalist of Agraceful. While Agraceful did nothing new for music, one of the best things about the band was Chris’s vocal talents, and that talent is the only thing that made me look forward to Like Moths to Flames. Recently signing to Rise Records, many will put this off as a simple-minded Rise band and most of you are correct. All high hopes anyone could have had for this band will be tore down, but only to a certain point. Like Moths to Flames has the potential to be so much more, but their repetitiveness and lack of originality complete tears them down.
Right from the start you can notice how familiar this band sounds to others in the genre. The first song ‘Your Existence’ opens with a guitar tapping, bass heavy breakdown that has been heard in so many songs before it. One of the things that saves this band though is their amount of energy, though every song is filled with these macho average breakdowns, none of the songs on the “Sweet Talker” EP slow down even for a second. Like Moths to Flames made the mistake of making each song sound alike, featuring similar guitar parts and choruses, even the breakdowns sound alike most of the time.
As I kept listening to the EP, I noticed the similarity in each song when I began thinking parts from other songs were going to come up in the song I was listening to. Most of the lyrics were dull and boring, featuring lines like, “the world is mine” and “I will bury you in all that you believe in” are just two screamed lines that lead into a breakdown. Fortunately, songs like ‘Dead Routine’ and ‘Bloodsport’ feature memorable breakdowns, they are nothing you’ve never heard before but they are crafted well. Drummer Lance Greenfield is great at what he does, but he never takes the time to use his talent. Most of the time he uses the same beats over and over again, but every now and then he pulls out something fun to listen to. The cymbal smashing build up to the breakdown in ‘Dead Routine’ shows his ability to mix things up, he just should’ve done it a lot more.
Most of the time the two guitars never do anything to impressive, though there are a few little memorable riff moments through the entire EP. One of the best things about this band are certainly the vocals, Chris screams a lot more here then he did in Agraceful, but he also shares singing duties with bassist Aaron Douglas. The choruses feature their two voices overlapping each other and doing all kinds of interesting things. My only complaint is that the choruses move quickly, and I was hoping for a few slower more singing based moments. Of course, that’s probably the only time you’ll ever hear me asking for slower moments from a band like this.
“Sweet Talker” EP was one of the late 2010 releases I was actually really looking forward to hearing. The few songs the band released were great to hear, but when put together with the other songs they do nothing to stand apart. Like Moths to Flames would be a great band to see live, and though their EP is energetic, it never does anything to make it more than average. The instrumentals are plain and boring and the vocals never have the time to become impressive. In order for the band to move on to a great album, they need to find some originality and mix things up a little bit, without destroying what they already have going for them.