Review Summary: “I bet you’d love to feel something”
It feels like it’s been a long time since such an eclectic mixture of aggressive metalcore/post-hardcore has been released. Maybe that’s just the remnants of 2020 still fighting for relevance, but I can’t name any bands that have released something seriously solid in that particular variety at least for the last year. And here we are, and so are fallfiftyfeet, who aren’t easily boxed in by genre classifications. Part metalcore, part post-hardcore, part math rock, and part hardcore. They certainly lean primarily on the first two, but the introduction of the latter two is always a pleasant addition. That delicate mixture described above, to me, that’s what gives the essence of good music in this territory. That secret element? The courage to experiment and the persistence to pull it off. And both of those are things that fallfiftyfeet have in spades.
I’ve never truly liked a full track by track analysis, so I’ll break down some highlights with added commentary. Situational Thriller brings the metalcore punch and backs it with mathy riffs and post-hardcore hooks with lines such as, “I bet you’d love to feel something”. And yet even when the track could return to its metalcore elements it continues unexpectedly with the post-hardcore before deviating at a perfect and erratic moment. Cell Dmg maintains a consistent metalcore weight while splicing in elements of hardcore. It continues the trend of melody yet fails to re-enter the realm of post-hardcore. The highlight of the track to me is where it becomes a contrast between what almost sounds like a horn section and mathy plucking until the track dives full-sale back into aggression. There’s slower melodic or atmospheric moments in The Gloom, Twisted World, and Perspective to complete the package as an engaging and eclectic album. Yet, the track I truly want to highlight is Commit to the Bit. This track encompasses entirely how I feel about the album. It begins with the traditional metalcore sound, but around the halfway mark it diverges into an awkwardly spoken section (with backing instrumental) that almost feels like it was inspired by the Insane Clown Posse or a bunch of DND players attempting to freestyle. And then yet, right after this section, it seamlessly transitions into Jon Mess style screaming which the vocalist pulls off to full success. And even further still, the final word given in said screaming section is awkwardly stuttered out in such an odd way that I nearly thought I was listening to an almost perfect (yet still canned) studio demo that found its way into the finished product.
Those thoughts are what truly give the album definition to me. I can almost creatively relate to what the band is going through. They are sitting at the peak of a pyramid balancing passion, excellent creative ideas, and technical skill with the opposing weight on the scale - amateurity. No matter how bright this album shines, I can’t help but see the influences shining through in every part of the design. And yet, that’s not truly a negative. The fact that this band has managed to create such a great album with such signs of amateurity leaves me incredibly optimistic of what they might be able to produce in a few years time.
This album kicks ass. It’s revitalizing. It’s slightly awkward. It’s brutish and consistently creative. It wears its influences on its sleeve. All in all, I’m excited for the future of fallfiftyfeet, but in the meantime I can hope that this album does not go unnoticed.