Me In A Million

Still In The Balance

Written by: BL on 31/03/2014 23:25:40

German post-hardcore newcomers Me In A Million's debut "Still In The Balance" should really not be about surprises. Think of every trick in the book and you'll likely hear it here - huge thundering breakdowns, stuttering guitar and vocal effects, dual vocalists, electronic dance samples, and hell even a pop-RnB vocalist. The album is essentially what you'd get if you took the Woe, Is Me back in 2010 when they were still good and alive, and combined it with latest I See Stars and throw in a bit of Issues for good measure. Of course if you enjoy all of those bands and don't like to overthink things then you may not have all that much to be cynical about because it's still an fun record, though the more serious may know better.

As previously mentioned, something resembling the old Woe, Is Me of the "Number(s)" era seems to make up a large part of Me In A Million's core sound initially. The fast chugging breakdowns on opener "The Rest Is Silence" may quickly feel cumbersome after a while but meandering tapped lead guitars have been sorely missed in these sort of bands lately. "Panik" on the other hand really lets one of the vocalists in Julian Coles strut his singing prominently above all else. While he's certainly not on par with Tyler Carter or Jonny Craig (the former appearing on "These Mountains") despite an admirable effort, there's still a swaggering confidence about his pop centric vocals, twisting and turning tunefully whilst also using some decent technique to pull of some of the more daring melodies. Even when its hard not to roll your eyes at the sheer predictability of the formulaic instrumentals at play, there's no denying that "Wide Awake" and "The Warning" have some immensely memorable hooks largely due to Julian's impressive vocals and some soaring lead guitars as well.

Unfortunately, Julian's screaming counterpart Luke Conrad stands out a lot less by comparison. It's simply too difficult to notice any distinct features about his harsh vocals as he's simply there to fulfil the heavier parts adequately and no more. This probably isn't helped by the fact that the catchiest track on the whole album "The Life Of Others" doesn't feature him at all, a song that is one of the easiest to replay overall. The electronic dance filler "Disappear" that follows sadly feels a bit of a forced inclusion by complete contrast. A lack of meaningful direction and a weak chorus reduces it to a four minute plus wait for the finale. "Brave It Out" is indeed more of a return to former strengths with a couple of nice sections though is not the biggest set piece you might expect to end on.

When all things considered, "Still In The Balance" is quite an acceptable first effort for Me In A Million just with really obvious flaws and setbacks. The production values courtesy of Chango Studio's Cameron Mizell is all bells and whistles as always, slick in a lot of places though some of the more dense segments could have done with a clearer mix. If you're after a new mainstream post-hardcore upstart, then here is not necessarily a bad place to start.


Download: Wide Awake, The Warning, The Life Of Others
For the fans of: Woe, Is Me, I See Stars, Issues, Palisades
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.03.2014
Redfield Records

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