Before Their Eyes

Midwest Modesty

Written by: TL on 30/12/2015 16:15:51

If we are being honest, Ohio's Before Their Eyes have always been a band symptomatic of the genericness which has characterised the majority of high-pitched clean/scream music the past ten years, which is also one of the main reasons that our coverage has skipped an album in 2012's "Redemption". Ahead of the recent release of their fifth full-length "Midwest Modesty", however, the band released the single "We Won't Make The Same Mistake Again" in collaboration with screamo-poet Cam Smith of Hotel Books, which made it sound like they could perhaps be up to some new tricks, prompting some interest in their newest effort.

To begin with, however, "It's Dark Inside You" hardly surprises in echoing Chiodos and In Fear And Faith, rising directly from ominous, muffled vocals to full-blown, thundering, symphonic crescendo. Despite almost four minutes of length, it feels more like an intro than a full song, yet "The Positive And The Negative Of Being Alone" does start on a slightly better note, serving a recognizable chorus right up front. We're still in dramatic, high strung post-hardcore territory, though, with singer Nicholas Moore consistently and predictably pushing his vocal range to its upper extremities. "We Won't Make The Same Mistake Again" then arrives as the album's third track, with Cam Smith guesting with his talky/shouty confessional lyrics atop tapped guitar leads, generally anchoring Before Their Eyes' sound in a much more grounded place than ever, which serves them rather well.

Sadly, Smith's appearance is of course for one track only, and as you listen through the album's remaining seven tracks, it is pretty clear that there is otherwise nothing dramatically new on offer here. Moore is as guilty as countless contemporaries of singing at a pitch that sounds like he will choke on half the notes without digital correction, and there's your usual coating of dubbing and synthetic tinges to add to this suspicion. It is perhaps unreasonable to give him the sole blame, however, for the generic impression given to you by track after track. For while there are relatively frequent bits of promising guitar melodies, giving you the idea that the band may have learnt some good tricks listening to Saosin, Circa Survive or even Secret And Whisper, the songs just seem put together in a way that never holds on to your attention for more than a few seconds at a time.

Apologies then, if you have heard this before, but the report is that "Midwest Modesty" is yet another batch of solidly produced, solidly styled, yet rather genre-typical and unengaging post-hardcore soup. It's like, you know those moments when you're listening to an album and something cool happens and you pull your phone out to check what the name of the song is? Before Their Eyes have far too few of those moments happening, despite "Midwest Modesty" otherwise sounding like a professionally conceived and produced record overall.

6

Download: We Won't Make The Same Mistake Again, The Positive And The Negative Of Being Alone
For The Fans Of: In Fear And Faith, Chiodos, A Skylit Drive
Listen: facebook.com/beforetheireyesband

Release date 18.12.2015
InVogue Records

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