BackWordz
Veracity


4.0
excellent

Review

by WesHamilton USER (2 Reviews)
April 1st, 2017 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An infectious album with drive, creativity, and strong lyricism.

For an 18-song, 66 minute debut record, BackWordz sure does a good job of keeping your attention. It has some occasional awkward or grating moments, but it offers a fresh contribution to the scene. The album starts off with a solid trifecta of songs. “Pop It Off” is basically what you would expect from an intro to a metalcore/hip hop album. It flows well into “Individualism,” a song with a strong coherent message. The lyrics are strong, and there is also an engaging short spoken bridge between the final verses. The final lead single for the album, “Self-Ownership,” presents an extremely clear message with specific topics and amazing flow. This song really helps to highlight the diversity of the band’s musical tastes by offering verses that are quite different within the song. Fronz’s cameo in the second verse is a net gain, but it felt like more of a name-drop than an organic inclusion. His lines were significantly weaker than Eric’s, and his screaming pitch will leave some listeners dissatisfied. His inclusion highlights that the back-and-forth in verse two could have worked with almost anyone.

“Demon Rat” is an interesting song, but the pre-chorus leaves a lot to be desired. Eric July does a lot of stuff well, but he is not a strong singer. His raps and screams are top-notch, but his half-sung pre-chorus drags the song down a bit. The breakdown reads like a speech from Malcolm X or Thomas Sowell, and it’s one of the more explicit condemnations that BackWordz offers on this album. The next song, “Statism,” was released over a year ago. The remastered version is solid, with a nice contribution from Craig Mabbitt. The other older single on the album, the remastered “Utopias Don’t Exist” fits well on the record, but it’s been around for so long, it seems silly to discuss it in this review.

On “You Are You” the listener can really feel July’s annoyance at racial expectations as he expresses “no matter what my ancestry was, I was never a slave.” It’s not their strongest work, but it is nice to see Alex contribute to the verses instead of being constrained to the chorus. “Tell Me” serves as the first break from metalcore, but it is no soft track. Eric July really shines as an emcee on these verses. And unlike in “Demon Rat”, July’s refrains fit well as semi-sung choruses. It’s a treat for people that have followed his raps, and it serves as an appetizer for his separate rap ep. “Be Great” is a top-notch “get psyched” song, with intense hardcore verses and chorus, a brilliant Nas-like storytelling rap, and an uplifting bridge.

“Praxeology” possibly the weakest song on Veracity - more of a lecture than a song. July’s verses are strong, but some lines feel very forced. The lyrics amongst the breakdowns are essentially quotes from an Austrian Economics textbook. “The Professional Protester” delves into the debate over gang violence and the awkwardly named "black-on-black” crime. Sonically, it is infectious. Lyrically, it’s guaranteed to offend. But that is one of BackWordz' best qualities. They are not afraid to speak up on any issue they deem relevant. “Addict” is a nice break from the heavy material of most of the album. It takes place over an engaging beat, but Eric doesn’t ever noticeably show up. It is the only song on the album that features only singing. No raps, no screams. It was a bold move, but it lands pretty well.

“Democracy Sucks” features a neat balance between Alex, Eric, and their featured artist, Lauren Babic. Eric’s flow is strong as hell in the verses, and his lines fit perfectly with the pacing of the song. Babic’s contribution is a nice addition, and it frees up Alex, the primary singer to test out a new range. “Let Me Live” is the fastest song on the album. The drive of the drums and guitar fuels Eric and Alex’s intensity. Eric freely flows between raps and screams, which adds to the dynamism of the song. The gang vocals are a nice touch in the bridge. “Snap” is nearly all July. The screamed chorus plays well, much like in “Be Great.” Heavy and well-driven, “Statheist” has one of the best choruses of the album. Slowing down Alex’s lines makes the lyrics really play out and stick in the listener's mind. The first two verses aren’t July’s best work, but the third verse and breakdown make up for it pretty well.

The album comes to a strong close with “Set Us Free.” It wraps up the album with some softer material, and its the first time I really enjoyed Eric’s singing. The backing beat and violins accompany Alex’s chorus well, and the guitar at the outro helps to place a confident conclusion on the album. Overall, this album was a real win for independent releases and to the virtue of patience from both the artist and fans. It had some shortcomings - a few mixing issues, singing choices, lyrics that lecture - but it had far more positives than it had drawbacks.

Top songs: Self-Ownership, Set Us Free, Individualism, and Be Great.


user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Tranqyl
April 1st 2017


10 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fantastic review, man.

dfevil085
April 1st 2017


931 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

This feels a bit "track by track"-y but it's well written so pos.

I remember checking these guys out a while ago but the lyrical content turned me away.

Digging: Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pacifistcuffs

sempiturtle
April 1st 2017


1109 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

"Keynesianism might be the death of us all

The most tanked economies were centrally planned"



can these guys tone it down a bit jesus.

Digging: Northlane - Node

Snide
April 2nd 2017


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I need to check this album, I've enjoyed all of the singles released from it and Eric July is a pretty cool dude.

BillClinton
April 2nd 2017


156 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review is off, falls in the no-no track by track style. But album is fresh and a pleasure to listen to throughout. Personally I love his pre-chorus stuff on Demon Rat and Democracy Sucks. One of my favorite things he does and shows his ability to shake things up.

WesHamilton
April 2nd 2017


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Specifically, how is it off? We gave it the same rating, so I'm curious what you dislike. Also, why is track-by-track automatically bad?

dfevil085
April 2nd 2017


931 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Track by track reviews are generally looked down upon. Album reviews here are meant to be about the album as whole instead of a list of songs. Also track by tracks have a habit of being really repetitive when it comes to reading them.

DatsNotDaMetulz
April 2nd 2017


3372 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I've heard about this band but the frontman is apparently an anarcho-capitalist and anarcho-capitalism is so dumb it hurts.

DatsNotDaMetulz
April 2nd 2017


3372 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

"In an anarcho-capitalist society, law enforcement, courts, and all other security services would be operated by privately funded competitors rather than centrally through taxation"



Because that's not a total recipe for disaster.

sempiturtle
April 2nd 2017


1109 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Yeah the idiocy in the lyrics really makes this a hard listen.

SteakByrnes
April 2nd 2017


4580 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I heard one track from these guys last year and it was bad

Digging: Ghost Atlas - All Is In Sync, and There's Nothing Left to Sing

Lalka
April 3rd 2017


109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

instant 5 - for lyrics. It's easy to understand that for all mental slaves and indoctrinated statists it's a hard listen.





DatsNotDaMetulz
April 3rd 2017


3372 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Nice trolling.

DaxPraesid
April 4th 2017


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

While I agree it isnt perfect, that uniqueness is what drives the culture.



Apparently the lyrics are hard for statists to grasp. Start with Self Ownership.





DatsNotDaMetulz
April 4th 2017


3372 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I'm not a statist. I just think that capitalism is stupid and anarcho-capitalism is an oxymoron.

dfevil085
April 4th 2017


931 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Did Dax seriously make an account just for this thread?

SteakByrnes
April 4th 2017


4580 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

He just wants you to stay woke

dfevil085
April 4th 2017


931 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

2woke4me

Lalka
April 6th 2017


109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

way to go Dax.

Ebola
April 6th 2017


2869 Comments


from havok to hopsin how woke is this



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