The Plot In You
Swan Song


3.0
good

Review

by Aeri USER (42 Reviews)
September 19th, 2021 | 51 replies


Release Date: 09/17/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Close, but not quite.

I can honestly say that, over the last few years especially, The Plot In You’s discography (primarily Happiness in Self Destruction, naturally) and Landon Tewers’ solo outings have both been a source of immense catharsis for me. There’s just something about the way in which Tewers serves up his own personal wealth of inner demons, with such a brutally uncompromising manner, that it cannot help but captivate my attention. I listen to the borderline unhinged delivery of ”maybe it’s just me and I can’t see, I’m hurting everyone that found me” on ‘Hole in the Wall’, or the blunt admission of ‘Sick Obsession’s ”I can’t escape these feelings, can’t seem to clear my head”, and I feel something. I feel a lot of things, actually. While the likes of ‘Take Me Away’ beautifully details the emotional hurricane of losing a paternal figure, Landon Tewers has garnered something of a personal reputation – and one that isn’t entirely flattering.

For starters, Tewers’ lyrical choices are downright questionable at times, often leaving an uncomfortable taste in the back of your throat while attempting to digest such examples as “she thinks of me when she’s fucking you, I own you bitch and yeah you know it’s true”, or “feeling risky like a smoker with a bloody cough, you look like you could use a violent fuck”. If you haven’t noticed yet, touching on the subjects of violence, sex and depression (or the troubling combination or all three) aren’t exactly what you’d consider no-go areas for Landon Tewers. There have been numerous statements made regarding the vocalist, both artistically and behind the curtain, and plenty of such statements paint Tewers in a very questionable light; one that he himself appears to be fully aware of. Take ‘Savage’s closing statement of ”I’m a demon, I’m a snake – walking disaster, I’m a mistake”, for example, or perhaps ‘Pillhead’s venomous reflection ”don’t get too close, I’ve been known to manipulate”. These aren’t glowing declarations that highlight Tewers in a positive fashion, and in a lot of ways this is what makes Landon Tewers such a fascinatingly captivating individual, with every performance appearing to be one soaked in either guilt, self-loathing, boastful arrogance, or vicious hatred.

So, with all this in mind, where does The Plot In You’s latest effort fit in? Dispose isn’t exactly held in high standing, and most casual listeners will happily disregard Could You Watch Your Children Burn and First Born in favour of Happiness in Self Destruction, and it’s not like Landon Tewers hasn’t been pumping out solo effort after (mostly solid) solo effort for the last half a decade… so is Swan Song even necessary?

Well, at times it’s honestly hard to say yes.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still some excellent material here. While Dispose was a flawed, mixed bag of an album, Swan Song is at least a superior record in almost every regard. ‘Paradigm’ continues the inclusion of electronic elements into the band’s sound that was first initiated by Dispose, the glitchy distortions and stabbing synthesizers rippling throughout the track whilst Tewers’ & Company deliver an energetic blast of reinvigorated metalcore, whereas ‘Enemy’s menacing creep from an eerie, atmospheric introduction into sludgy, slamming instrumentals proves to be the exact kind of white-knuckle aggression that Dispose was so sorely lacking – in particular throughout the bridge, in which Tewers’ delivers some of the most vicious screams of his recent career. Elsewhere, the penultimate ‘Whole Without Me’ also gladly presents a similar progression, gradually building from scattered electronic aesthetics and subtle introductory bass, to then chugging guitars and gnarly percussion. The track continues to garner momentum until at last reaching a monstrous climax with Tewers’ screams blasting through the mix spectacularly – yet, it almost pales in comparison with finale ‘Freed’, a track that perfectly toes the line between exquisite, euphoric instrumentals to pure, seething rage. It’s a superb closing moment for the album and finishes Swan Song on an undeniable high… but the only problem is that a lot of the record just doesn’t quite live up to such a finale.

Now don’t get me wrong (again), there’s nothing inherently bad here; the production throughout is a blatant improvement over Dispose (even if the drums do sound a little muddy), and there’s not a single moment that Tewers himself seems to drop the ball vocally, even if some of the lyrics could have done with some work (see; ‘Born to Blame’). Yet, while I find it somewhat hard to outright criticize Swan Song, I also find myself realising more and more that I simply don’t care about a lot of it… and that’s extremely disappointing. Both ‘Fall Again’ and ‘Face Me’ see the band delivering hard hitting material, but the sudden shift from gentler instrumentals to the heavier side of things can occasionally feel jarring, with nothing truly clicking together or offering any real groove – whereas the less aggressive cuts ‘Too Far Gone’ and ‘Too Heavy’ both come across as lacklustre, and it’s with an uncomfortable realisation at how outright disengaged the album feels at times that Swan Song’s lowest points are offered.

And, ultimately, this is the album’s greatest weakness. Swan Song as a whole is desperately lacking in memorability. It feels disconnected at certain points, as if the band is running on autopilot whilst Tewers’ belts his fucking heart out no matter how good the material actually is. True, Landon Tewers is still an excellent vocalist and the majority of the lyrics throughout Swan Song are solid, but the lack of identity within the instrumentals has always been something of an Achilles heel for The Plot In You – even as far back as Happiness in Self Destruction. There’s not a single genuinely memorable guitar riff or melody to be found here, and (if truth is bluntly told) half of the songs featured on Swan Song are borderline forgettable as soon as you move on from one track to the next. Sure, they’re enjoyable enough in the moment and you’ll have fun catching the ride, especially throughout ‘Enemy’, ‘Freed’ and ‘Whole Without Me’, but it’s a ride that unfortunately carries far less memorability compared to the likes of Happiness in Self Destruction.



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user ratings (68)
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Aerisavion
September 19th 2021


3145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As always, feedback appreciated.



I wish I liked this so much more.

xlev
September 19th 2021


26 Comments


Album isnt very good. Review is really nice though. Only thing that was weird is this sentence:

"If Dispose featured as the flawed, mixed bag deviation from Happiness in Self Destruction that the record truly was, Swan Song at least completely refines The Plot In You’s updated sound"

I don't know what this is supposed to even mean.

Aerisavion
September 19th 2021


3145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fair - fixed it.



Thanks man

DreamAgain
September 19th 2021


2171 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Probably my AOTY.



Sure there's plenty of stuff out there that's more technically competent, intricate, and perhaps even inspired but this is the best Tewers has ever sounded and he was already the best in this genre. That's all I needed.

TooLateToGoBack
September 20th 2021


2091 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Much better than Dispose.



I also think I need to relisten to Happiness in Self Destruction because it never clicked with me like the majority of fans.

outliers
September 20th 2021


3364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with most of your review, Aeri, though I do think youre short changing the highlights of this a bit. Whole Without Me, Face Me, Fall Again, and Enemy are great



You did hit the nail on the head on this musically. It was a big mistake putting Too Far Gone, both to blame, and Too heavy sandwiched together in a 4 song run imo. All three of them are Landon heavy songs, and it quickly becomes samey hearing him yelling choruses non stop. Also doesn't help that the opener and closer are quite weak.

Album feels like a strong 3.3 or 3.4

butt.
September 20th 2021


9826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Opener and closer are weak?????????? Dude the closer is one of the strongest tracks here. Even the opener builds into a pretty massive track. Really weird to criticize those two in particular.



I’d say this is a pretty nice improvement over Dispose, and Landon’s vocals are stronger than ever here. The songwriting ranges from meh to great as usual, but honestly the first single is the only track I don’t care for.

butt.
September 20th 2021


9826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

But seriously outliers, go listen to Freed again and tell me it’s a weak track. No gosh darn way

JayEnder
September 20th 2021


14164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Much better than Dispose. [2]



Whole Without Me and Fall Again are tops here. The latter sounds like it was ripped straight from the HISD sessions. Overall agree with most points here though. Landon kills it as usual and pretty much carries this album, but instrumentally its lacking and not very engaging. Miss the really deranged heavy stuff like Pillhead and Hole In the Wall

Digging: Artificial Brain - Artificial Brain

outliers
September 20th 2021


3364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Intro has like 30 engaging seconds with 3+ min of fluff.



I'll listen to the closer again and report back

onionbubs
September 20th 2021


15713 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ehhh



i mean at least it clears the bar of being better than dispose

TooLateToGoBack
September 20th 2021


2091 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, the instrumentation really hinders what's arguably Landon's best performance ever.

outliers
September 20th 2021


3364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah closer sums up the album as a whole. Landon sounds great with abrasively boring instrumentals behind him

butt.
September 20th 2021


9826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I’ll agree there. Instrumentals are pretty lackluster on this album. I remember one song had a pretty cool guitar riff/breakdown, possibly Paradigm?

TooLateToGoBack
September 20th 2021


2091 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Paradigm is indeed excellent and probably the most memorable song for me here.

goblinilbog
September 20th 2021


910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you put the best 4-5 songs off of this and the best 4-5 off of Dispose that would be a pretty damn good record.



[Miss the really deranged heavy stuff like Pillhead and Hole In the Wall] 2







butt.
September 20th 2021


9826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A couple songs here scratch that itch for me, but yeah shit used to get extra deranged

DreamAgain
September 20th 2021


2171 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The opener and closer are two of the best songs on here lol

JayEnder
September 20th 2021


14164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Landon just doesn't lay riffs down anymore... he goes all out on his vocals, which are incredible but there's so much more potential to be reached with better songwriting like My Old Ways or hell even Feel Nothing



Also Paradigm honestly rules

Aerisavion
September 20th 2021


3145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[deleted because I'm dumb]



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