Published Jun 02, 2016Aggressive is the title of Beartooth's sophomore LP, and it's as apt a title as it could have.
After a huge month for the post-hardcore scene with releases from Saosin and Architects, this record continues the hot streak. Caleb Shomo has crafted a sound that's comparable to Sam Carter at their heaviest, with debatably more interesting instrumentals behind, but decidedly worse diction than he or the untouchable Anthony Green. Shomo (ex-Attack Attack!) again collaborated with producer John Feldmann (Blink-182, the Used, All Time Low, literally everything else), and the result is a sonically coherent, and impressive, album that dances on the borders of multiple subgenres without ever really taking a full dive into any one.
The first song and title track, released ahead of the album as a single, features a driven breakdown and catchy chorus that previewed the dynamic and punchy sound on the album. "Hated" and "Loser" both deliver poignant messages and continue to show off hardcore punk vibes mixed with post-metalcore's clean vocal aesthetic. "Fair Weather Friend" won this reviewer's favour because it sounds like early Comeback Kid, but with a way better vocal range.
"Burnout" is heavier than most of the other tracks, reminiscent of Attack Attack!, while "Censored" starts out with a real funky riff and launches into a bouncy tune with a strong Billy Talent feel. On "However You Want it Said," listeners hear a much softer side of the album that gives a sense of forward progression, conceptually. "Rock Is Dead" speeds up the pace, and the guitars jump between hard rock riffs and heavier, almost djent-ish counterparts.
"King of Anything" features a soft, eerie dénouement that puts the album to bed with solemn vocals and a single distorted guitar. (Red Bull)