Listening to This Could Be Heartbreak, the latest offering from Australian post-hardcore punks The Amity Affliction, you get the impression that they sat down at the start of the writing of this album and collectively agreed to go down the route marked “if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it” because, quite honestly, listening to some of the material on this release, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it could have been lifted from any particular point in their career.
So, having made a career out of what is, in reality, a fairly generic and done-to-death sound, should we be really surprised that This Could Be Heartbreak is no different? Of course we shouldn’t. Why should the band consider mixing up a sound that, to date, has served them so well. With the majority of the material on the album following a similar pattern of frantic sections, crunchy riffs, gruff vocals, clean vocals and emotional, personal lyrics all mixed up then repeated, why would the band want to change up a formula that has worked so well from them over the course of their career?
Obviously, the downfall of delivering similar albums over and over again is that, over time, the number of new fans dwindles and you’re left with the hardcore fanbase. In fact, listening to Ahren Stringer question “does it leave you feeling empty, does it leave you feeling cold?” on “Nightmare”, you do have to wonder how many listeners are answering that in the affirmative. Having said that, there is no ignoring the fact that The Amity Affliction, for all their generic traits, are very good at what they do. Their ability to mix in big hooky choruses and huge singalong passages make moments during This Could Be Heartbreak quite an enjoyable experience. It’s just a pity that for the most part, unless you’re a huge fan of the band already, there aren’t many moments on this album that will really grab your attention.
For the already converted though, This Could Be Heartbreak will give you everything you want from the band. Lyrically, it’s a very emotional but very dark record especially on tracks like “I Bring The Weather With Me” while musically they tick all the boxes in terms of a record by The Amity Affliction, the problem is that, over the duration of the record, there is no hint of the band trying to push the boundaries of a sound that by both the band and the rest of the genre, has really been hammered out.
This Could Be Heartbreak Track Listing:
01. I Bring The Weather With Me
02. This Could B Heartbreak
04. Tearing Me Apart
06. All Fucked Up
07. Fight My Regret
08. Some Friends
10. Note To Self
11. Blood In My Mouth
Run Time: 44:47
Release Date: August 12, 2016
Check out the track “All Fucked Up”