Everything Burns

Take Your Aim

Written by: TL on 31/12/2013 18:01:26

When British rockers Everything Burns sent their debut album "Home" to us back in 2010 it already then seemed like the quintet was being pretty selective with which trends to follow and which to completely disregard, yet their oddity of then is nothing compared to what it is now, as the relatively unchanged metallic alt-rock of new album "Take Your Aim - which borders on both nu-metal and post-hardcore really - feels completely out of time. The songs are all powerful and dramatic yet they never flirt much with monstrous breakdowns or dissonance, instead sticking rather conventionally to a melodic songwriting full of bravely tapped leads, eighties style harmonized riffs and a belted clean vocal stretched to maximum ability for the majority of the time.

Last time I reviewed the band I observed that a merit of their approach was that their songs generally turned out forthcoming and rather catchy, yet that it felt a bit like each song was a variety of the same formula. And while "Take Your Aim" is still guilty of this to a degree, Everything Burns has actually taken measures to mix up the listening experience. Rampaging screams hence open the record on an unusually heavy note before giving way for a couple of tracks' worth of the main course, while an interlude then gives the fist-pumping a piano-backed pause at track five, before "Whomper" throws a surprising curve ball that commences the end with a surprising dose of EDM synths, bringing to mind the first Silent Descent album when the song slides back into the band's core sound.

Bands like Fei Comodo and The Morning After come to mind as references for the opposite ends of Everything Burns' sonic spectrum, yet both of those have been fortunate to have something which Everything Burn continues to lack on "Take Your Aim", namely a production that doesn't sound like the direct result of limited resources. Especially on "Whomper", the heavily distorted low end riffs sound tinny, and while the levels are fairly well-adjusted overall, the whole sound of the album has the distinct feeling of a "local circuit band" as opposed to a properly ambitious contender. And moreover, the intensity pedal still seems so consequently floored that the listener almost becomes insensitive to it. It's not that I don't understand that some bands want to be at least somewhat "hard" all the time, but even if that's the case, I think you need to do this with more variety and nuance than Everything Burns muster.

As a consequence "Take Your Aim" would be a fairly mediocre listen if it wasn't for the competent songstructures and the urgent and authentic clean vocals, that often stretch convincingly for their top notes with such intent that you can almost feel your larynx quiver just from listening to them. It's hard to listen to the strongly stated refrains of songs like "Our Story" or "Battlefields" and not feel convinced at least by the band's integrity. Sadly though, if you subscribe to the thinking that message and integrity only gets a band halfway to the big leagues, then you'll likely have the same inescapable reaction that I do: Namely that Everything Burns tread water in terms of style and ideas, and that the nuances they've come up with aren't enough to keep "Take Your Aim" from sounding a bit dated.


Download: Our Story, Battlefields
For The Fans Of: Fei Comodo, The Morning After, InMe, Kenai
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 20.05.2013

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