Landscapes

Life Gone Wrong

Written by: PP on 28/08/2012 06:13:06

Based on multiple recommendations by readers of this magazine I decided to check out the debut album "Life Gone Wrong" by Britain's Landscapes, a new melodic hardcore band running in the footsteps of Hundredth, The Ghost Inside and others, who have incidentally also been nominated for the album of the year by several other media. While I'm not quite yet in agreement with such a strong statement, it is clear from the opening moments of "Cemetery" that we're dealing with a special release indeed.

Some of you may remember from the last few years how I've predicted the British hardcore scene to soon produce a band or a record that'll be that masterpiece album in the genre. Well, "Life Gone Wrong" is arguably just that. This is it, although it did take for the Brits to mirror their American counterparts in Verse, Comeback Kid, Hundredth, The Ghost Inside and Counterparts almost note-by-note to write the album. For lengthy periods during the record, the band balances on a tightrope leading from Andrew Neufeld esque (Comeback Kid) screamed hardcore/punk and the more ambient, atmospheric material of the other mentioned bands, while integrating in the lyrical intelligence and rhythmic vocal texture of Verse as the icing on top of the already juicy jake. It is the latter department which elevates Landscapes above many of their contemporaries as the band goes through motivational messages, spirit uplifting analysis of life in general, and of course the usual powerful lyricism that hardcore is associated with in the first place. Their only problem? The vocalist isn't as articulate or as charismatic as the guys from TGI, Hundredth or Verse, so oftentimes the listener's attention is focused on the lingering atmospheric guitars and overall intricate detail of the soundscape rather than his lyricism. What both Verse and The Ghost Inside managed on their latest records was to combine the brilliant instrumentals with sublime charisma and enigmatic vocal performances, too, that helped alleviate some of those issues. I feel like Landscapes still has some work to do on that department, but then again, this is their debut album.

Later on, Landscapes also demonstrate ability to calm their sound down when necessary, where "Providence" and "Forgiveness" both featuring as breathers from the emotionally intense melodic hardcore that the band otherwise portrays. Here, the former is like an acoustic interlude, a spoken-word style song with little screaming in the end, but I have to admit these don't work as well as their usual melodic hardcore material, especially not in succession to one another.

Anyway. Could these guys be the Verse of British hardcore scene, the band that revitalizes an entire scene? It's too early to call, but "Life Gone Wrong" is another worthy addition to a genre where it feels like no band can do wrong for the time being.

8

Download: Disdain, D.R.E.A.M, Cemetery
For the fans of: Comeback Kid, Hundredth, Verse, The Ghost Inside, Counterparts
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.07.2012
City of Gold Records

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