I like to consider myself still somewhat young, the type of young that will consider going bungee jumping but will blame a hangover for not following through and steps aside to let the others risk their insurance premiums, so it’s weird to think that the first time I heard Chiodos was back in 2007, when I was starting college, and now I’m out of college, and these goobers are still pounding out fresh music.
Reasons for why this is significant numero uno (and in hindsight, kind of weird to call it numero uno ’cause I don’t continue on to dos): back in the day when post-hardcore was first becoming a thing that more than 10 people knew about, post-hardcore was somewhat of a niche genre, meaning that it had a narrow audience, due to its underground nature, and it embodied a specific sound, one that you cannot carry on for years unless you’re the creator of said sound or if you can manage to morph it with a modern twist. Overnight there were hundreds of bands that had breakdowns that alternated between open string chugs and minor 2nd screeches. Chiodos, a band I would say has had heavy influence on this genre, has continually pushed the bounds of their writing, and this album is a continuation of this progress.
This album is exceptionally theatrical with plenty of beautiful piano lines and string arrangements. Another aspect that I guess kind of adds to the epic, bigger than life sound is their usage of harmonic minor chord progressions. It’s that feeling near the end of a musical phrase where you want to extend your hand out like you’re that guy from Temple of Doom with the pumping heart in your hand and scream, “KALIMAAA!!.” I’m pretty sure that Tim Burton would be pretty proud of “Duct Tape,” my favorite jam on this album. It starts out with a sample of a wooden cabin door creaking open followed by vintage filtered strings and a super bright, staccato honky tonk piano. But, the drum beat has a smooth, modern borderline hip-hop groove, not to mention the chorus hook is UN-believably catchy. Good luck not getting THAT stuck in your head.
And, can we please take a moment and talk about how well Craig Owens acts through his vocal lines? You can feel the agony or frustration with the way his voice breaks away from traditional melody singing with dips in his voice, almost as if he’s sobbing or ready to yell. Damn you, Craig… for being so amazing and beautiful.
01. U.G. Introduction
02. We’re Talking About Practice
03. Ole Fishlips Is Dead Now
04. Why The Munsters Matter
05. 3 AM
06. Sunny Days & Hand Grenades
07. Duct Tape
08. Behvis Bullock
09. Looking For A Tornado
10. Expensive Conversations In Cheap Motels
11. I’m Awkward & Unusual
12. Under Your Halo
13. I Am Everything That’s Normal
Run Time: 53:34
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Check out the song “Duct Tape”