Review : Killing the Dream - Lucky Me
AbsolutepunkI've been trying to tackle new music this year by really trying to step outside my comfort zone and give some other buzz a chance. While doing that, I've found some really great records that I wouldn't have necessarily discovered along my otherwise tunnel vision of tastes.
One thing is for sure in all this subjectivity, 2010 has been a year for thought induced hardcore. With standout releases from Trash Talk, Pianos Become the Teeth and The Saddest Landscape, as well as progressive albums from Crime in Stereo, The Ghost Inside and This is Hell - there was much to be loved among the true creative nature of hardcore that we once saw in the D.I.Y. scene of the mid to late '90s. (I know, a comparison and hopefulness I'm always striving the scene to get back to.)
Killing the Dream's Lucky Me fits nicely in that category of releases for 2010. It's somewhere wedged in between those latter big name releases and the former underground that's brewing. Comparable in sound to the furious nature of other California hardcore at the moment, the guitar progressions on "Testimony" ring out passionately backed by ex-Dance Gavin Dance vocalist Kurt Travis' guest spot. There's a lot of back in forth between that raw power and beauty on Lucky Me. Even as "Blame the Architects" opens powerfully, the guest violin and quick breaks create a different aura - a catching of breath after a vicious fight or personal exorcism....full text
BringonmixedreviewsSince the band's start in 2004, Killing the Dream has always been at the head of the pack. Even when my interest in straightforward hardcore periodically wanes (like clockwork, it would appear), it's never too far gone that it can't be revived by a tightly executed recipe of burly guitars, fast punk drumming, and believably pissed off vocals. So while Killing the Dream has always fit snuggly within that common definition of Deathwish-style modern hardcore, their ability to breathe life back into the genre with the aforementioned combination is almost unsurpassed.
This year's release, Lucky Me, features all of those trademark hardcore elements, but with a noticeable step down the emotive songwriting path. Lead off track, "Blame the Architects," starts off predictably forceful and emphatic, yet quickly leans to the melodic side as the vocals sport a sort of half-singing-half-screaming delivery (as heard briefly in the last track of Fractures). Luckily, Eli Horner's stellar scream still drives the majority of the record, but one should expect an intermittent peppering of this relatively new territory throughout the disc. Fast forward to the one minute mark and the track has descended into a very calm, clean interlude with a tasteful strings accompaniment. When it finally erupts into a massive climax for the final minute, we've successfully made it through a microcosm of the new direction of Killing the Dream: fewer moments of traditional metallic hardcore; more steps into the slightly slower, almost cinematic realm (as cinematic as hardcore can get, of course); and some vocals that, quite frankly, can get a little spotty.
The last aspect is the one that is the most troubling. "Testimony" explores this new direction to a degree more extreme than the rest of the disc and ultimately crashes and burns. It has been ages since I've had such a wildly bipolar reaction to a record, but when the track switches to clean vocals (presumably from a guest spot) and then to a horridly screechy style of singing (presumably from a guest spot filled by an Alternative Press fan raffle), I lose faith in everything. It occupies such a tiny portion of the record, but it is so infuriatingly grating and out of place that I'm left speechless....full text
StereokillerI first came across California's Killing the Dream early last year while browsing for bands on youtube and fell in love with them instantly. The type of hardcore they played was new and refreshing, and when I saw the new album up for review, I had to get it
Lucky Me starts off with a ton of energy, and thankfully instead of changing anything up, the band has kept with the formula that made them grow on me from the beginning. While saying that, some things have also changed, and progressed. The melodies found throughout bring in a depth and a certain dimension that was not found in their previous releases.
Listening to this album was almost like going on a roller coaster, in that it had great peaks where the band was full of energy and relentless, to a slow and peaceful crawl, and at the end leaves the listener wanting to go on another ride.
In regards to the instrumental and vocal aspect, everything is almost on point. The vocals are brash and full of emotion and instruments are fast paced and driving. Production is also top notch, with everything sounding crystal clear.
This record definitely will be a stand-out in comparison to most other hardcore records this year, and when November 23rd comes around, I'll personally be picking this album up....full text
Killing The Dream Album Reviews
Sweetslyrics Top 20 Artists
Killing The Dream Lyrics
Do you love myspace