With pop based metal/hardcore acts, it’s quite a bit harder to carve your niche these days. There are a LOT of folks trying to push out tunes based on mosh riffs with over-arching choruses. While the market for it tends to be a little bit over-saturated, you can find some gems being pushed out every now and again, and while the tracks are a little on the homogeneous side, the new album Aggressive (out now, Red Bull Records) from BEARTOOTH is actually a very solid release from a great band.
BEARTOOTH is one of those groups that seemed to come out of nowhere, but they caught fire with their fan base through insanely catchy songs and a rabid crowd reaction in a live setting. They show no signs of slowing down with this newest album, with damn near every single song boasting some sort of massive chorus for anyone who likes singing, and a plethora of breakdowns to satisfy even the most aggressive mosh pit warriors.
Now, while I actually do like this album, there’s only one piece of negativity I have to impart upon it, and that has to do with my homogeneous comment earlier. The songs on this record tend to run into each other in not necessarily a bad way, but it’s quite formulaic in the writing. It usually goes: Riff, verse, chorus, riff, verse, big set-up to breakdown, breakdown, chorus, end. This isn’t exactly an AWFUL thing, it’s just one of those qualities I tend to notice as I never really listen to singles, I listen to full albums. Thankfully, while they may sound a bit similar to my ear, it doesn’t detract from the quality of what they’ve put out here.
There are a few tracks on here that do stand out from the pack, but one catches me in particular. If you asked me to, I’d be hard pressed to find a song that carries energy like “Rock Is Dead” on a lot of other band’s releases. The stick click and shouted out 4 count in the intro really set that song off in a damn good way. While it doesn’t exactly feel “Rock and roll” to me, it still carries quite a bit of attitude and the chorus is especially catchy as opposed to some of the others. Not to mention the short, sweet and super simple guitar solo is a really nice touch.
Overall, BEARTOOTH didn’t stray too far from their beaten path, but they certainly didn’t put out a bad album by any means. Solid songs, meaty riffs, awesome choruses, and a few little twists and turns scattered throughout make for a VERY entertaining listening experience, and if you haven’t seen them live, I strongly suggest you do so. The energy they bring in their songs translates VERY well when blasted at one million decibels to a room full of sweaty people.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Rock Is Dead”, “King Of Anything”, “Always Dead”