Shoot The Girl First

I Confess

Written by: MAK on 19/05/2016 20:07:21

I’ve been pretty blunt in previous reviews about metalcore appearing to have become stagnant, and it certainly has felt in recent years that I have fallen out of love with the sub-genre. Then a band has to come along and hook me right back in again; Cannes, France based sextet Shoot the Girl First has been the first new band in the last few years to make me really want to dive back into metalcore again with their latest release, “I Confess”.

The album starts off aggressively with “I Like the Way You Die, Boy”. The opener contains plenty of shouts, roars, gang vocals, breakdowns and dirty grooves — all of the factors that make up modern metalcore — including a lacing of electronica, a factor which is growing more and more common at the moment. The song is nice and heavy, and the electronica side introduces a more melodic atmosphere, with new vocalist Alex Sayti showcasing his ability to sing as well as shout in a brutal manner.

The opener is pretty standard, but the follow-up track “Evil’s Trick” really punches you in the face, hard. One huge, deep roar from Sayti along with equally deep breakdowns launches the song into a fast, aggressive verse. Guest vocalist Michael Swank from Myka, Relocate handles the chorus with catchy high-pitched singing, before an incredibly intense verse packed with another round of fast, aggressive shouts, crushing riffs and mind-blowing double pedal. The segment is 100% ‘in your face’. It feels like intensity the metalcore movement has been missing in recent years.

Variety is the biggest strength in Shoot the Girl First’s sound, though a lot of that variety is also too reminiscent of nearly every era in Bring Me the Horizon's career. “I Confess” emulates the brutality of “Count Your Blessings”, the grooves and intensity from “Suicide Season”, the melodic side that broke through in “There Is A Hell…”, and the electronica rock deployed by “Sempiternal” — honestly, at some point during “I Confess”, I expected the grooves to drop and someone to shout “THIS IS SEMPITERNAL”.

One noticeable feature in 2016 is this dynamic of male and female vocalists teaming up more in metalcore. “No Hero” is full of gang choruses and we see keyboardist Julie Crystal become the focal point, handling the majority of the vocal duties on the song. Her screaming style is closer to what you would ordinarily hear in post-hardcore, and this particular song, while heavy, is more melodic than any of the other songs on the album. “No Hero” is certainly catered to fit Crystal’s more erratic, high screaming style which nicely balances out Sayti’s deeper growls. The back-and-forth vocal exchanges between the two throughout the effort enhance the variety that keeps the album fresh.

It may be recycling various eras of a certain genre and mashing them together, but you can’t deny that this is a solid metalcore album. ‘I Confess’ balances melody and brutality sublimely, fusing together captivating segments of metalcore, post-hardcore and electronica. Shoot the Girl First have caught my attention and made me want more of the same.

8

Download: Evil's Trick, No Hero, I Like The Way You Die, Boy
For The Fans Of: In Hearts Wake, Bring Me The Horizon, Crossfaith
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.04.2016
Redfield Records

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