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‘Awake’ kicks things of with a series of ambient noises (police sirens, gasps, sporadic bell clanging, and more), which any cinephile would identify as audio taken directly from the bank shoot-up scene in 1988 movie, They Live. This then makes its way to the popular line from the film, which was ad-libbed by Roddy Piper, and has an odd Obama-like authority to it— "I have come here to chew bubble-gum and kick ass…and I’m all out of bubble-gum."
There is only one thing left to send off this brief beginning. Cue guitars and drum fills.
The lively follower, and Short Fast Loud hit, ‘Eat a Gun’, places lines about Kings of Leon and Master Chef among many repetitions of “motherfucker”. At the same time, it mixes hints of pop punk with some equal hints of metal.
Already two tracks into ‘I’m Not Right’ and it is almost impossible to lose interest.
‘Grave Junkie’ standardises things a bit, and the rest of the album follows by its example. For the most part, it is heavy guitars and screamish vocals. There is a short guitar break though that shakes things up a little bit though. It serves as a segue to one of the most whole and intense moments of the album, and also marks a move into heavier songs, such as following track ‘Boxcutter’.
Portions of the short, and moderately fast-paced, track ‘Jesus on Acid’ continue this trend. There are guttural screams wherein the band’s vocalist Stevie puts his whole being into the delivery.
‘Repeat After Me’ sees the band add in a bit of grunge to the mix, which gives the right anti-establishment sort of feeling for what follows. Instrumental track ‘Asleep’ includes voiceovers that speak of the underclass and middle class, and of race and injustice. It is a massive shift from the earlier joke-like content presented by Clowns.
The powerful closer, ‘Powders’, barring the obvious drug references, expands on this in a sense when it talks about not having a voice. The song is a beastly end that completes the album well.
‘Rise’ won’t be most people’s album of the year but it will certainly be an album that they’ll enjoy. Although not perfect, there are many great tracks on this album, which will let you know A Skylit Drive are on top of their game. With a lot of aspects (the melodies and heaviness) all thrown together in the musical melting pot, there are bound to be some bad peas but also some great ones. It just so happens that the great ones are heavier.
- Save Me Tragedy
- Crash Down
- Said & Done
- Just Stay
- I, Enemy
- Wide Awake
- Dreaming In Blue