ALBUM REVIEW: I’ve seen hell when I was with you – shot
Pop-punk and emo artists, as a rule, don’t get as much respect as they deserve for the tightropes they have to walk to be truly seen and respected by the heavy and alternative music community. If they keep it too sweet and juvenile they risk losing appeal over time for fans who love the edge, and if they start falling off and losing their pop sensibility they risk alienating so many fans who fell in love precisely because of a band. hook writing talent. It’s a tough road for bands emerging on the scene, but the British quartet BEATEN DOWN should have no fear in the future. Their first record I saw hell when I was with you perfectly suited for a band like them, with both incredibly catchy melodies and sticky hooks, combined with overwhelming moments of heartbreaking intimate and personal lyricism. It’s a very good start that should have even more outlets than it already does.
I saw hell when I was with you has something for anyone who loves all eras of pop-punk/emo. Looking for a batch of belt-capable breakup anthems in the vein of the peak TRUE FRIENDS? Pieces like a weight that I cannot bear and mistakes i made bring the heat with urgency and emphasis. Singer Liam Edwards bares it with every line through its rough, rich vocal tone and raw delivery. The first track soars with huge, consistent harmonies and a flamboyant approach that grips by the neck, and the second seethes with dark intensity and slight dissonance as Edwards tackles overwhelming feelings of self-worth and failure after heartbreak. It’s not easy for anyone who’s been there, but the band deliver with a real sense of genuine honesty and vulnerability that will become immediately apparent and ring strong throughout the album.
For those looking for a golden age, mid-2000s pop-punk rager, if you want 2 is by far one of the catchiest pop-punk/emo tracks of the year so far, and feels like it scratches that ever-present nostalgic itch that erupts for so many in the alternative community. It’s pure sweetness with a touch of bitterness in the lyrics, but it’s a delicious dish every time it’s served.
The theme of this record is that while it shines well through its majority, it shines brightest when it’s most vulnerable. Breakup tracks are certainly crafted with truth, but when Edwards conjures up very personal and painful memories dealing with his childhood past and his brother on tracks like a safer place and sylvan view, the album touches the marrow beyond the nerve. Both tracks are tragically haunting and will linger long after the record is finished thanks to the band’s growing intensity and Edwards‘ willingness to let it all go on these tracks and share hard truths and bittersweet memories with listeners. And they will thank him for it.
Closer i want to love oneGain goes even further in Edwards‘heartbroken, and while some may consider the lyrics to be cliche and another variation on a tired theme, the song continues to feel honest on a level that elevates it above those criticisms. It plays with catharsis through a new set of vocal melodies and a dark but ultimately hopeful ending will remind listeners that light will emerge from times when darkness feels abject and all-consuming.
BEATEN DOWN delivered a record that rises above the crowd as the band have found a way to deliver the messages and themes that fans have heard for so many years on stage with impact and effectiveness beyond beyond their years, and certainly beyond a first record. They certainly got the message that in pop-punk and emo, honesty really is the best policy and will most likely carry any band that puts all their eggs in that basket a long way with their fan base and even within of the scene in general. The record is certainly not without flaws – its early tracks don’t deliver the same instrumental intensity as the rest, and opens britannia mills doesn’t do very well in its role – but as the hype and press for this band surely increases, the scene should rejoice in having a brilliant new record to pour out and scream while in the throes of grief . And that’s the real measuring stick in pop-punk and emo anyway.
I Saw Hell When I Was With You is slated for release on March 4 via a self-release.
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