Therefore I Am

The Sound Of Human Lives

Written by: TL on 21/07/2009 23:35:32

When we last heard from Therefore I Am, I wrote about their "Escape EP" that they were awesome at high speeds but still had some issues in their softer stuff that needed ironing out before releasing a full length. How nice it is to see then, that this is exactly what has happened on their first LP - not that I ever doubted it though, them being on the world's best label (Equal Vision) and all!

"The Sound Of Human Lives" as the album is titled, simply kicks ass from end to end, and the opener "Death By Fire" doesn't let many seconds pass by before it has sounded this message in an initial salvo of melodic hardcore riffage and screams of "IGNIIIIITE! WHAT LIES INSIIIIDE!". This is exactly what I was talking about back in my last review of the band, except even harder. Eager to prove some range however, "Eleven, Seventeen" follows immediately with some clean passages, though without letting go of the intensity. Vocalist Alex Correira's clean vocals make an appearance, sounding like a half and half blend of Bert McCracken (The Used) and Ronnie Radke (ex-Escape The Fate), before the raw -core assault is resumed with some of the catchiest words on the disc:

"We are the same! Fragile frames! Flesh and bone and blood and teeth - born and bound for misery! We are the same! We just carry different names!"

It's good stuff thus far, but given the cleaner parts and the extremely bleak and bitter lyricism I'm realizing that the melodic hard- in front of the -core, can actually be replaced with emo in places, and while that may sound alarming, rest assured that TIA are rather angry than whiny. And their record isn't letting up. "Splinters" follows with a sudden and awesome explosion in tempo halfway through its length and "My Father, The Fatalist" unearths a treasure chest of riffage in the veins of Alexisonfire's "Watch Out" material and a chorus reminiscent of Blindside's days of glory. Veterans of the screamo fanbase, are you salivating yet? We're not even halfway through, as "For The Sake Of Skin" and "It's No Wonder Why" justifies my The Used reference with their mid-paced progressive/anthemic nature.

The album is then cut in half by the title track, an atmospheric instrumental piece of sorts, that for once serves a purpose, simply in reminding the listener how far he's gotten on the otherwise surprisingly homogeneous album. Now we're halfway done, and while the remaining half of the album is based slightly more on atmosphere and experimentation, there are still a couple of stunners in there, for instance "Big Blue" with it's borrowed poetry (from Sidney Howard, author of the screenplay to "Gone With The Wind"):

"Half of knowing what you want, is knowing what you have to give to get it... So let's sacrifice!"

So to sum up: This record kicks fuckin' ass. It manages to feel complete and consistently intense even while retaining dynamics via its perfectly fitting clean parts, and even though it isn't quite the lightning storm that Circus Circus unleashed upon us with "Brooklyn Nightlife" last year, it is probably the closest we're going to get to a reminder this year, and it should be a must for any fan of the bands mentioned below. Stamped with A for AWESOME!

Download: "Eleven, Seventeen", "I Am Only An Island" "Big Blue"
For The Fans Of: Alexisonfire, The Used, Circus Circus, Blindside
Listen: myspace.com/thereforeiam

Release Date 23.06.2009
Equal Vision Records

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