Artist: A Bullet For Pretty Boy
Label: Artery Recordings
There will always be bands in your music player that you just enjoy, they might not be your favorite, but you will listen to them in the car, on the bus or wherever you happen to have your mp3 player. For me, A Bullet For Pretty Boy has always been one of those bands. Up until Revision:Revise came out, I didn’t pay very much attention to what they were up to. Since that time though I have made efforts to keep tabs on them as Revision:Revise really caught my attention.
A Bullet For Pretty Boy is a slightly lesser known hardcore Christian band from Texas. While the Christian rock/metal scene has gotten progressively larger over the years, it’s usually fairly difficult to find a legitimately talented Christian band who are simply there to spread their message, and just as importantly, deliver fabulously metal music. It’s probably because people nowadays prefer to hear bands swear, call everyone names and wear shirts that say “fuck” on them. Even I am guilty of owning more than one of those kinds of shirts. For bands like this though, they don’t market to their fans in that fashion, and therefore seemingly attract less diehard fans. Simply judging this band by their musical merits though, they are definitely a band worth taking a listen to.
Symbiosis is the band’s latest effort, featuring ten tracks full of melodic verses, meaningful lyrics and plenty of screaming – just the way I like it. Considering the giant step they took between their EP Beauty In The Eyes Of The Beholder and their debut full length Revision:Revise I was, needless to say, very excited to hear they were working on a sophomore album.
The first track and single off the album, “Red Medic”, pretty much sets the stage for what you can expect throughout most of the record. This is not a bad thing, the song is mainly unclean vocals, it’s upbeat, and well rounded. So many bands have taken the direction of the heavy electronic feel it’s nice to have a good band that has opted to keep things as straight up as possible. It’s easily my favorite song on the whole album, and definitely one worth making note of.
A couple other tracks that should be mentioned are “White Noise” and “Reptilian Tongue”. Both of these songs managed to stand out alongside the album’s first track. “White Noise” starts off with a fast beat drum intro, then quickly moves into the opening unclean vocals. The track starts off fast paced & heavy, then near the end it slowly transitions into the fifth track on the album, “Illumination”, which is an instrumental. I mention “Reptilian Tongue” simply because I like it. It’s very short, just barely over 60 seconds, and has the beats per minute of a punk-rock song. This makes it stand out, and that’s a good thing.
Symbiosis ends with “Self-Disclosure”, which is the longest track of the record. It starts off slower, with the clean vocalist singing. While there are some great unclean vocals in this track, the song throughout sticks to a slightly slower tempo. This might not be the best track to bang your head to, but it’s still a great listen and has a seemingly meaningful message.
The album has a great flow, no single track seems odd or out of place, which makes for a very consistent and enjoyable listen. While I would rather my music not be spontaneous and go in every direction, I’m also slightly disappointed that the tracks in general aren’t very unique from one another. Not that each of them don’t offer a great musical experience, but they just don’t necessary stand out from one another.
As much as I enjoy the record, and as happy as I am to see the band is progressing to something greater, this isn’t one of the albums screaming at me as one of the best of 2012. It may make my top ten list, because it’s a solid album, but I think as long as they continue on this path they have taken, and use their experiences to stretch & develop their existing skills they might just take us all by surprise in the next few years. If you want a nice smooth hardcore record that will sustain your hardcore music appetite, I recommend picking up this CD. However, if you want something brand new that you’ve never experienced before, this might not be what you are looking for.
Review written by Kriston McConnell