Review Summary: “There’s no where else to go but up from here.”
Put this album in the Post Hardcore Hall of Fame! What completes this album" Is it the soft lovely melodies of "Redeeming a Monster," "Last Saturday," and "AWOL"" It may just be the stellar performance of Jonny Craig and Craig Owen's feature on the album. Or is it the southern charm" In 2009 Broadway released their debut album Kingdoms. This may just be a crazy judgment call but this is one of the most creative and fun modern Post Hardcore albums ever made. Now let me share why this album holds a special place in my heart.
Kingdoms opens up with an intro that quickly leads into the first track Redeeming A Monster. Redeeming A Monster gives you a taste of what this album is all about. Extremely catchy pop choruses, soaring clean vocals, and downright filthy screaming vocals that are used only when necessary. Redeeming A Monster ends with a beautiful outro and is followed by probably the most notable track, The Last Saturday. The Last Saturday has one of the most beautiful choruses I have ever heard, so mesmerizing it can easily send me into a daze of nostalgia. After the second coming of the alluring chorus the song quickly jumps into a heavy breakdown, complimented by thrashing guitar riffs that scream out early 00’s metalcore. This element is one of the most adored moments of the whole album, scattered throughout, you will find raw guitar riffs inspired by the most respected early 00’s metalcore acts.
You might very well have a huge grin on your face after listening to the track Meg Ryan Would Play You in the Movie. When there’s an unforgettable part where the lead singer, Misha sings a very cringe-worthy line:
“It’s getting kinda hard to take it slow, when I am up all night thinking about you. It doesn’t even matter how long it takes. I’d be okay because we’d be together someday.”
And as he sings these rainbow and unicorn infested lines, there are just thunderous breakdowns hacking away in the background. I don’t know about you, but I can’t help to smile and admire how stupid yet genius this part is. I found it absolutely entertaining that I’m hearing the most nauseated and harmless lyrics over some of the heaviest drum work I have ever heard in my life.
The next song features everyone’s favorite singer in the genre. Jonny Crag. Don’t Jump The Shark Before You Save The Whale is one of the most catchiest tracks on the album and Jonny Craig plays a huge role in this. This track has a chorus that’ll get stuck in your head, killer guitar riffs, a very heavy verse that builds up and leads into Jonny Craig taking the song home with what he does best, singing like an angel. This track is one of the most well constructed songs on the album. Cleverly, they decided that next track on the album will be We Are Paramount. We Are Paramount is probably another track that is perfectly constructed track. I know! I Know! I say this a lot, but this song also has a mind-blowing chorus! There’s a small part in this song that I would imagine most people would overlook but at 1:33 they tease you with a potential breakdown but they decide to quickly cut back into the chorus. On most of the tracks on this album, Broadway usually strays away from traditional song writing and goes into their own territory, in this track they decided to go off-road and give us the heaviest part on the whole album as they close out We Are Paramount. The next handful of tracks show off a lot of experimentation with tracks such as Gotta Love That Southern Charm and You Bring The Thunder, I’ll Bring The Lightning where they poke fun of common cliche elements found in their genre like southern guitar riffs and auto-tune, provoking other bands in their genre and their predecessors.
“Meanwhile I'll be trying my best to be original.
To not pilfer the works of the people
Who made me who I am, made me who I am.”
Broadway then takes our hand and leads us to the last three unforgettable closing tracks. A.W.O.L is a slow beautiful ballad that shows off the clean vocals of Misha Camacho over a beautiful piano, orchestra, and scant synths. After the acoustic style melodies of A.W.O.L comes to a close, the inchoate intro to the next track is dark; dreary. Then out of the darkness, you hear Misha scream out! “Goodbye.”
The Same Thing We Do Everyday Pinky is truly a masterpiece. This is the anthem of Kingdoms and modern metalcore. Beautiful lyricism, guitar riffs that keep the song afloat, unrelenting drums, and a guest vocal spot that doesn’t disappoint. With a false ending and a loud echo that vibrates your soul. The Same Thing We Do Everyday will leave a mark in our hearts.
Kingdoms closes out with The Prom Queen Has No Friends. No other song than this one is going to make you want to revisit this album over and over again. No other song on this album leaves a resounding impression than the 2:32 mark that makes the experience on Kingdoms even more special. Kingdoms have succesfully created a genius album while creating music we have already heard before but in a way that is absolutely original.
“There’s no where else to go but up from here.”
Unfortunately, Broadway couldn’t capitalize with great success. With Kingdoms barely getting the recognition it deserved. Ironically, I truly believed this album inspired many bands that gained remarkable success with acts such as Sleeping With Sirens. Subsequently, this led Jake Garland to take his talents to the high energy band Memphis May Fire and guitarist Jake Fowler to join Sleeping With Sirens. On January 16, 2016, the band played a reunion show with the original lineup in Orlando, Florida. The band played their debut album Kingdoms in its entirety.