Her Bright Skies

Causing A Scene

Written by: BL on 24/02/2011 01:23:18

Her Bright Skies, oh what exactly has has happened to you? Their last album which TL reviewed a while ago "A Sacrament; Ill City" was not a masterpiece to shout about, but it was a fine example of how to do catchy solid screamo/post-hardcore without being bothered to include panic chords (as I call them now instead of horror chords) or chugging breakdowns like most of their American (and even Swedish in terms of Adept) counterparts. "Causing A Scene" is their followup and in many ways still doesn't fall into the same trap, but now it does this by taking a huge step in the other direction. It's funny and ironic that one of the songs on the new album is called "Sold Our Souls (To Rock & Roll)" and I'm sure anyone who is familiar with the band will know why when they hear all that "Causing A Scene" has to offer.

The core feel of the album won't seem to have changed that much from the start. But slowly you get this creeping shadow lurking over your shoulder as you keep listening. There's this sparkling, glowing (and very sterile) sheen to everything on this album - the simple rhythm guitars that got simpler, the leads that all seem to shimmer in the distance; beginning with the opener "The Best You'll Get", one of the best things about the more slow burning "Pretty Things", and probably one of the most memorable songs on the disc in "Stargazer/Icebreaker" are highlights of the bunch - and yes the song title names are pretty much all in this vein. This contrasts their previous sound that had hints of a more raw and edgier approach, what we get now is remarkably more safe and accessible Her Bright Skies. Sure there are still the screams every once in a while, but they get inserted in at the most predictable spots in the songs (the structures do seem pretty basic overall), which is just a shame. I don't want to get bogged down in a discussion in a band choosing to have a more "marketable" sound (and even in this case its debatable) over a heavier one, but one can't ignore the fact that fans of earlier stuff will think of "Causing A Scene" as selling the band out.

The album isn't without songs that are feasibly catchy enough to be sung-a-long to, but the lasting value is pretty much only as deep as how much you can stand the aesthetics. For fans of screamo tinged rock (and if you're young enough to enjoy faux-angsty rock), I probably won't lie outright that you're not going to get some enjoyment, because throwing aside the ridiculous predictablity, the cheesy lyrical material, the fact that it feels so restrained, the heart-wrenching screams (sarcasm) - its at least done competently enough. For the rest of you, better keep walking.

Download: Killing Me, Pretty Things, Stargazer/Icebreaker
For the fans of: Intohimo, Lostprophets' Start Something, The Used, Hawthorne Heights
Listen: Myspace

Release Date: 31.03.2010
Panic & Action Records

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