The Things Around Us Burnby Love Me Destroyer
The second album from Love Me Destroyer (consisting largely of former members of Pinhead Circus) finds the quartet continuing to explore the noisy borderland between punk, emo, metal, and indie rock, and the group's exploration has yielded some pretty intense and often startlingly attractive fruit. James Wellensiek's yelling can't hide his and guitarist Ryan Welter's fancy-schmancy extended chords, and even when they dive briefly into lunkhead molten metal riffage, the sophistication of their chord progressions betrays their musical intelligence. And good for them. Growing up means, among other things, that you don't have to apologize for being smart anymore, and there's no reason at all why you can't buttress sophisticated chord progressions with power-chord heavyosity. The album hits its peak of intelligent hookiness on the borderline-hardcore roar of "I Went to Las Vegas...," but there are lots of other fine moments as well. There are also some rather puzzling ones -- for instance, why does "Color of the Grave" stop after four minutes, only to let the track go on in silence for another three and a half before the final track begins? (It's not like the last song is a hidden track -- it's listed on both the disc and the tray card.) And for that matter, why is the final track a half-baked attempt at power ballad country-metal? It's a truly lame end to an otherwise impressive album.
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