Beartooth – Aggressive – Album Review

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American hardcore punk band Beartooth are releasing their sophomore album entitled Aggressive on June 3rd with Red Bull Records . After a powerful EP in 2013 and a highly acclaimed first album in 2014, Beartooth fans had really high expectations for this new album.  

The first song and title track is “Aggressive”, a catchy and powerful song with pounding riffs and great hardcore vocals. It really sets the tone of what you can expect from this album. The band also released a video clip for it a few weeks ago that you should take a look at, you won’t be disappointed!

Next up is “Hated”, an even stronger song with more hardcore elements to it, that really builds up through the track. I enjoyed the anthem feeling it has, a bit like “Beaten In Lips” from their previous record. Lyrics throughout this whole record always manage to be meaningful and it’s easy to relate to what Caleb Shomo says. He manages to paint us an accurate picture of how he feels, as if we were in his head as we listen to the song, feeling the sadness and anger going through his veins. “Loser” has a strong Papa Roach and A Day To Remember feeling, and an intense start. This hardcore punk song sends a positive message to all the angry teenagers listening to them out there. The lyrics “I was born just a little bit different” makes it easy to relate for their fan base that feel like they don’t belong to the society they live in.

“Fair Weather Friend” reminds me of Papa Roach, once again but also of Stray From The Path or even While She Sleeps. It gives me a true heavy rock feel. This catchy song will stick in your head for a long time! The following song,“Burnout”, has great breakdowns and sing alongs. It is the perfect groovy song to headbang to and a proof that the band is able to be diverse while still shining through their music. “Sick Of Me” reminded me of “In Between”, a song that I really appreciate from their previous record. “ ‘Cause I’m sick of you, I’m sick of me, I’m sick of the person I used to be” is really something anybody can relate to at some point in their life, whatever they’re going through. This is really what I love with Beartooth: you really feel and live their lyrics, it isn’t just something that comes out of the blue. There is more than just what Caleb says, it takes you with you and makes you want to sing along, right from the heart.

“Censored” brings us back to their first tracks from Sick, while keeping the main theme surrounding Beartooth tracks, which are pain, insanity and angst. And of course, as you listen to this song, you can’t help but “Crank this music up louder”! “Always Dead” is quite a fast song, right from the start and will make you want to mosh right away (if you didn’t already feel like it through the record). Caleb’s tone pictures perfectly the way he feels, and the “You’ll always be dead to me!” is quite representative. Trust me, you don’t want to be the person he hates…

“However You Want It Said” is a lot lighter and a lot more accessible to a wider crowd that might not be as much into hardcore as Beartooth typical fanbase. I definitely expect to hear that song during their next live shows as it is a great singalong. “I know I have issues, but I don’t need to hear it coming from you” is definitely the greatest line from this song and unleashes another powerful breakdown that the fans will love!
“Find A Way”, another song with an A Day To Remember vibe, offers us a quite fresh and new sound from the band. It is a passionate song with unique bridges and breakdowns that will perfectly prepare you for the next song to come, “Rock Is Dead”. The latter is my favourite song from this record. The theme itself just talks to me: there is no way on earth I can listen to something that good and catchy without turning it loud until I feel like I will get deaf!
“If Rock & Roll is dead, you can kill me right now” will make you want to turn this riff up!

Last but not least, “King of Anything”. I was actually surprised the album would end with such a quiet song, with only clean vocals and guitar. I really was looking forward to one final kickass riff or really heavy song to end the album with. However, lyrically speaking, this short song is a golden ode to being nothing. “I’m not close to perfect, I’m not close to sane” really speaks to me and I truly believe it could speak to anyone on a personal level.

Overall, this album did not disappoint at all. It has energy, passion and angst like any of their other records. It might not be as heavy as I would have wanted it to be (especially after Disgusting) but it has soul and will take all of that frustration and angst you’ve been building up inside all these years away as soon as you’ll sing along and mosh while listening to it!

Tracklist:

Aggressive
Hated
Loser
Fair Weather Friend
Burnout
Sick of Me
Censored
Always Dead
However You Want It Said
Find a Way
Rock Is Dead
King of Anything

Review – Maxime Le Huidoux

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