Thursday, May 11, 2006

Burden of a Day - Pilots & Paper Planes CD Review

The currently all-encompassing genre of metalcore (of both the melodic screamo type and balls to the wall angry persuasions), without a doubt, is this decade’s nu-metal. Much like the often maligned genre that started in the early 90’s, peaked in the mid to late 90’s, and then turned into a dumping ground of washed up, no talent bands in the early 00’s, faux-screamo and metalcore are reaching the ends of their life cycles. Both grew out of the underground at the end of the 90’s and have proliferated quite strongly throughout the first half of this decade. In the last couple of years, however, it has reached the saturation point and, just like nu-metal, both genres have become a dumping ground for bands that have no idea how to innovate, so they play what they’ve been hearing for the last few years.

In rare cases nowadays a band will rise up from the refuse surrounding them and revitalize the mildew-laden, rotting riffs in some sort of new way. With Burden of a Day, you see a band trying so hard to bring together so much of the last few years in order to rise up, but it’s all been done so much better in the past that this band just doesn't have a chance.

During the good moments the vocals are very reminiscent of The Refused or Thursday, but at other times they feel like an unfocused Hand to Hand or My Chemical Romance. The rapid pace, semi-spoken vocals are often the most appealing of the lot. It is the portions of attempted cleanly sung, and at times off tune, passages that will turn away the listener. That and the atrocious lyrics. Yes, this release is chalk full of the standard emo, cry baby lyrics. And on top of that you'll be graced by some of the Christian themes littered throughout, which I know some listeners just can't stand.

Musically, the most glowing part of the band is the punchy drumming, complete with a plethora of double bass rolls and straight ahead pace setting. Whereas many modern metalcore and faux-screamo bands use double bass pounding only for breakdowns, here you'll often find the double rolls are used throughout songs to keep the pace strong, which most of the tracks need since the majority of the time they feel like Alexisonfire and Poison the Well rip-offs.

It’s hard to continually be fed the same regurgitated song structures, riffs, and vocal patterns and not get utterly fed up with the lack of innovation. Heck, with the majority of today’s scream/sing bands, all I really want is some genuine emotion. Instead you get one or two pretty decent songs (“For Tomorrow We Die” and “Escapism as an Art Form”) and about 10 crappy ones (the rest of this album). This scene is getting old. Let’s move on.

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