Gwen Stacy
The Life I Know



by bellovddd USER (60 Reviews)
April 30th, 2024 | 9 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gone Fishin, Found jeebus

I do not believe in god. I did at one point, but then I like to think I grew up and left all that silly business behind. If you need jeebus to feel good about life, I won’t judge you (I will). But that is neither here nor there. Why does religion matter when it comes to music? It doesn’t. As someone who looks at religious folk with a cocked eye, I love many bands that fall under that ‘Christian Metalcore’ tag. Underoath were my gateway drug to heavy music and they held prayer circles at their concerts…

‘Gwen Stacy’ love jeebus so much so that when they broke up in 2009, bassist/clean vocalist Brent became a preacher and a positive speaker… Coming back to ‘The Life I Know’ 16 years later the first thing I notice is, damn those guitars are fuzzy.

What is one to expect from a Metalcore/Post-Hardcore album released in 2008? Well everything you just thought about, is here. Harsh screams and growls mixed with the ever present clean vocal chorus. Chugging guitars mixed with pop-punk leads and pinch harmonics. Drums that would fit into a NOFX album apart from the abuse of the double bass pedal and a hardly audible bass that when it does poke its head through you are reminded that the bass does in fact, exist in this style.

In 2008, I was not looking for a band to break the mould and add silly ‘Djent’ riffs into my metalcore. No, I wanted it to sound how it always had sounded to me. ‘The Fear In Your Eyes’ is the quintessential sound of this era of Metalcore/Post-Hardcore for me. It’s a pop-punk song covered with the illusion that its heavy cause of the CHUG CHUG and RAHHH. But in reality that chorus and lead work is Pop-Punk, and I am here for it. The choruses throughout are great with Brents voice being a perfect fit and counterpoint to Coles constant screeching. ‘If We Live Right, We Can’t Die Wrong’ has my favorite vocal lines and interplay between the two vocalists and the best drumming on the album.

The guitars are fuzzy in the mix. The distortion is turned way up along with the CHUGG. I for one love a good CHUGG, lots of people do and there is plenty of it here. The lead work is quite nice, they learn heavily into the pop-punk side of things with octaves and little runs full of hammer on’s and pull offs. The guitars are really a product of 2008 and love them or hate them, they are what they are. ‘Playing God Is Playing For Keeps’ has audible bass and its nice bass. Makes me really wish bands like this didn’t hate on the old bass like they do, get that bad boy out in front of the mix, and let it walk…

There is a 7min epic ‘Sleeping In The Train Yard’ that stands out as slightly overindulgent with a 3 minute repeated guitar line intro which does end epically but also feels weird not being the final track on the album and considering it leads into the best track of the album ‘Gone Fishing..’ it feels like someone made a boo boo with the track order.

‘Gwen Stacy’ are a band that made a small impact on a every changing scene and really were left behind when ‘Djenty Bois’ decided to poke their heads into metalcore land. ‘The Life I Know’ takes one back to a simpler time, a time when the music had a bit more heart to it and less of a waft of pretention and seven-string guitars having mini strokes.

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user ratings (164)
other reviews of this album
ojkr03 (3.5)
Gwen Stacy made a strong debut, a band with a very good potential. Solid breakdowns, cool riffs and ...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
April 30th 2024


Album Rating: 4.0

CHUGG CHUGG. fun album

April 30th 2024


defend christcore m/

nice rev man. makes me want to revisit. something about that era's genericness that blows this era's out of the water lol

April 30th 2024


Album Rating: 4.0

jam it my dude! its good fun

April 30th 2024


Album Rating: 3.0

The Fear In Your Eyes is a banger

April 30th 2024


Album Rating: 4.0

huge track

April 30th 2024


wait i remember these guys lol

Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2024


Damn I’d forgotten about this one! Might have to spin for the nostalgia

April 30th 2024


Ah yes, another ex-vangelical. Love to see it, I'm one myself.

I remember these dudes. Never got into this album, but jammed their other one pretty heavily.

April 30th 2024


Album Rating: 4.0

ye next album is prob better then this one.

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