Frail Body
Artificial Bouquet


5.0
classic

Review

by gregorgojira USER (1 Reviews)
March 29th, 2024 | 397 replies


Release Date: 03/29/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pressing the lips to a world devoid of hope

It goes without saying that good things aren't always meant to last; whether it be through means that don't justify an end, or vice versa. This sentiment remains very true for punk bands (I guess unless you're a pop punk band, those last forever). After Frail Body dropped their debut, 7 track record in 2019, A Brief Memoriam, although only 21 minutes, it brought a lot of promise and intrigue with it. They went on to finish the year off opening for screamo messiahs, Jeromes Dream, and entered the new year playing with Modern Color. But, with all this momentum and a 'full speed ahead' attitude, they like many others had to be stopped because of the end times. Enter the COVID-19 pandemic. The killer of anything and everything social related, that doesn't involve being behind a phone or computer screen. This killed bands like Left Behind, who ironically, got Left Behind. And seemingly, Frail Body seemed to be one of those bands.

4 years since the beginning of the pandemic and the release of their debut record and some semi-activity later; we've been brought to Artificial Bouquet. 11 songs of emotionally potent, enthusiastically pummeling screamo, topped with aggressive and detailed drumming, knuckle dragging song structures, all of which combined together creates what could be one of the biggest standouts in modern heavy music. On the song "Runaway", we're brought with some very discordant melodies midway through the track as it begins to pick up the pace, reminiscent of one Sunbather or even New Bermuda. The blackgaze inspiration continues to shine on the opening track, "Scaffolding" which wastes absolutely no time, plunging the listener into pure, unbridled purgatory. The track closes out with what I can only describe as the most beautiful part of hell put into auditory form. The psychotic amount of blood, sweat, tears and pain turned into rage that lingers throughout this record is at points, concerning.

Track number 3, "Critique Programme", although 5 minutes in length keeps the pace of the record up with monstrous walls of guitars with blasts galore. Of course these elements deviate as these longer, and even shorter tracks move on which is easily this records biggest strength, the sense of progression and pacing is adventurous and nautical through and throughout. Every track is tied into each other, with general themes of hopelessness, despair, deep sorrow, and even religion. “Horizon Line'' goes into what vocalist Lowell Shaffer’s explains was the “worst day of my life” where his mother was sent to the ER while he was on tour, and came home with complete and total shame. “Devotion” questions religion in the context of his mothers passing, with lines like “Where was God when you needed him most? When you needed him the most''. The lyrics paint a world that replaces color with anguish, and joy with misery. Yet even with all these underlying themes, the record remains colorful in certain ways, with some of these tracks having beautiful lead work, like in the bridge of “Refrain”, the album's lead single. The band uses this to their advantage as it further elevates their sound from the first record, which may come off as stagnant at times, like many bands in this genre unfortunately bring upon themselves.

The icing atop the painfully poetic cake are Lowell's vocals. Similar to bands like Converge (one of whom, J. Bannon himself did the artwork for this record), the vocals act more to compliment the instrumentation as opposed to being some sort of 00s metalcore lovechild. The band is a unit and they hit like a ten ton brick; even in the soft moments there's a certain anxiety that's created within the layers of anarchy. Structurally every song is different, whether it be the ebb and flow of the aforementioned "Devotion" or the climactic closer "A Capsule In The Sediment" or the pummeling punk energy of "Monolith", every song has its own feel, it's own story to portray and a different way to make you cry. The poignant emotional palette that takes every last bit out of you is purely astounding. The sheer rawness the album presents is honestly uncanny at times, in the absolute best way possible. The bass tone is crispy, the drums are tuned to perfection, the guitar tone is every bit grindy as it sounds like a forest fire happening in real time; everything sounds so organic. Pete Grossmann and Jack Shirley really outdid themselves, and that’s an understatement.

Artificial Bouquet establishes Frail Body as the triumphant leaders in the new age of screamo, and have made a true masterclass in the heavy music space. Every inch of this record is filled to the brim with nuance, little details that make me want to crawl into my headphones and discover them all. I truly do believe this band has untapped talent, when they’ve visited hell and back, the only way to go is up.


user ratings (179)
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
RustCohle
March 29th 2024


423 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review!



This might rank among the best skramz albums ever made.

SheWatchedTheSky
March 29th 2024


58 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Insane record

NightOnDrunkMountain
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2024


622 Comments


Not my kind of music but really nicely written, I have pos'd you

Slex
March 29th 2024


16497 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Woah awesome already a review



Best skramz album of the decade so far

icatchthirtythree
March 29th 2024


1148 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

let’s fucking gooo so hyped

FowlKrietzsche
March 29th 2024


633 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pos'd, great review for a great album

Slex
March 29th 2024


16497 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Everyone needs to listen to this immediately

icatchthirtythree
March 29th 2024


1148 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wow I knew it would be great but this is ridiculous. My boy Nick absolutely went off on the drums.

emmny
March 29th 2024


109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Certainly in my top 5 skramz albums of the decade.

someone
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2024


6557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I am ready for Frail Body to make my body frail.

hesperus
March 29th 2024


1454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah this is fantastic. if the last album was the answer to 'what if Sailboats released more than just 2 songs?' then this one is all the best parts of every Loma Prieta album combined and cranked up to 11



good rev too

Hawks
March 29th 2024


86681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OHHHHH MAN HYPE FOR THIS!!!

Slex
March 29th 2024


16497 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

5 it bro

Calc
March 29th 2024


17331 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess I'm not into skramz anymore....damn.

Hawks
March 29th 2024


86681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bro I already have 4 albums from this year 5'd lmao. And they're easy 5's too. This year is bonkers. Gonna jam this tonight right after work.

JayEnder
March 29th 2024


19713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album fuckin rips. Monolith is an absolute banger

Zac124
March 29th 2024


2594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review! Not the biggest skramz guy but this fucking slaps and I feel like this will only get better on repeat listens.

Wildcardbitchesss
March 29th 2024


11593 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fuck I didn’t know they were dropping anything new, stoked to give this a listen

mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2024


1709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very nice review! Looking forward to hearing this very much!

XingKing
March 29th 2024


16146 Comments


The most Jacob Bannon artwork that ever Jacob Bannon’d



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