Parkway Drive. A hardcore/metalcore/post-hardcore/metal (who cares about genres") band from Byron Bay Australia named after the street the bandmembers lived in. I'm not going to go through the usual of how they came to be, and who they have toured with. If you are looking for that information look at the review of their other release Killing With A Smile
on Sputnikmusic. On with the review:
The album starts off with the track ...
which serves basically as an intro. It actually scares me when I listen to it at night as it creates a very frightening (yes, i'm a pussy I know) atmosphere. It is just a repeated whisper of a young girl saying "I'm not gunna' die, I'm not gunna' die" whilst there is another layer of vocals behind it of which I can't make out. It ends with a final scream of the phrase "I'm not gunna' die" as it launches into the next track, a fan-favourite that was re-recorded for their new album, entitled Smoke Em' If You Got Em'
and well, the lady gets fairly cut as Winston McCall, the vocalist screams 'DIE' as the double bass drums pound away and the guitars add a melodic lead riff. This track doesn't let up, and you will see why it is a live-favourite and usually the last song they play. Heavy breakdowns, tapped guitar solo's and fast drums all contribute to this amazing song. Notice I didn't use a cheesy adjective to describe the bass" No, it's not because I couldn't think of another word to describe it, it's mainly because I can't hear it. Whether that is my own poor bass-audible ears, or it simply is lost in the mix of distorted guitars, i'm not sure.
The next track, Dead Dreams
again is relentless and heavy, although not as good as Smoke Em' If You Got Em'
it still proves to be an amazing song. The start of the song always tricks me and makes me look at my phone. When you hear it, you will see what I mean. These fella's always have the ability to make catchy breakdowns with anthemic vocals, using this song as an example like in the middle. However, Winstons vocals aren't anything to really write home about, they mostly deal with the drug use, self-loathing and utter hatred, but I guess lyrics aren't the focus of hardcore music.
Flesh, Bone And Weakness
would have to be my second favourite song of this album. Starts with a haunting bass riff, then double bass drums start kicking away. Soon after vocals join, both screamed and harmonic sung which adds a nice contrast, and actually works, unlike a lot of hardcore (ahemEVERGREEN TERRACEahem) which seems to have an issue with melodic vocals. However this track is just awesome. Breakdowns with catchy vocals and heavy guitars, as the bass is actually audible in this track, and should use these bass riffs a lot more as they seem to work. It soon fades away from the chaos and melds into a nice relaxing song, The Cruise
which is mainly guitar and background noise of waves lapping the shore.
The remaining tracks are just as strong as the previous, and are definately worth noting, especially Look's Like Yoda
which is another staple of their live set. All these songs contain heavy breakdowns, melodic guitar lines, pounding, fast drums and vocals that would definately not do wonders for his voicebox. They may suffer a bit from repetition, but they are great hardcore songs no matter what.
As you can see, this is a great example of a debut release, and further proved by their VERY energetic live show. I guess I am a bit biased myself as I an Aussie, and just proud to see how much success they have acheived in the short amount of time they have been around. I mean reaching the 21st spot on the ARIA (The Australian record company, like America's Billboard) charts, is an amazing feat by itself, but considering the type of music they play, is even more amazing. If you haven't heard them and like any kind of heavy music, you should at least give them a go.
Guitars and vocals very strong.
Drums provide great backing.
Not much repetition
Bass hardly heard, besides in track 4.
The last 3 tracks, may suffer from a bit of repetition.
Pretty short considering it has 8 tracks.
Smoke Em' If You Got Em'
Flesh, Bone And Weakness
Look's Like Yoda