Across Five Aprils
Life Underwater

After a couple of releases on Indianola Records, Tennessee’s Across Five Aprils made the expected jump to Victory Records, where their metalcore/hardcore meets post-rock meets emo hues, fit perfectly into the Victory-core style of music so popular with the kids today. You’ve heard this formula thousand times before, and while not quite as sugary as the Farewell to Freeway release (which I will compare this too endlessly as they came out on the same day and I got them in the mail on the same day), it suffers from a non-committal diversity that shows a band trying ever so hard to retain some form of identity while embracing to whole Hot Topic core values that moves units nowadays.

While not as structured and poppy as labelmates Farewell to Freeway, and with slightly less wimpy clean vocals, the overall result is similar; decent sometimes tolerable commercial metalcore, though with a bit more of a sprawling, subtle post-rock vibe and a less poppy verse/chorus structure that ultimately fails whenever the singing starts (or dominates like “In Photographs”). Also as a detriment, vocalist Brandon Mullins has a weak, sneering punk scream that annoys more than the clean croons. Ultimately though, whereas Farewell to Freeway has a couple of tracks and riffs I enjoyed, Life Underwater is far more forgetful.

Musically, there’s a little less to like, but by the same token it’s less predictable than Farewell to Freeway, taking more tangents and sidebars with a more layered and slightly more brittle tone. So, basically pick your poison: catchier, yet more wimpy (FtF) or sterner but less catchy (AFA). Personally, I pick neither and will go with Emmure, Carnifex, or With Blood Comes Cleansing.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 6th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: swampthang

    With Blood Comes Cleansing lol ooo a spelling error. this bands not good anymore, dudes vocals make this unlistenable for me.


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