10 December 2017

New Language - Come Alive

New Language (stylised NEW LANGUAGE) is a band I found out about early this year whilst looking for songs for my radio show.  As with a few blog I've recently published, this is the second time I've written this review.  New Language has already been making waves in America, their debut performance was supporting supergroup Gone Is Gone, plus they have also been on the road with The Used.  Considering that has all happened in the same year they release their debut album, that is pretty good going.  Come Alive was released in March 2017, produced by Tony Hajjar (At The Drive In, Sparta), it has also been followed by a new EP as well.  But what about Come Alive, how does that sound?

01 – Wake Up

With an explosion of drum and noise, ‘Wake Up’ certainly lives up to its name!  You have the rumbling bass, screams and sighs, massive riffs and effects that send shivers down your spine, New Language have set out their stall early on this album.  When the big hook kicks in towards the end, it feels like walls are starting to fall and that is always a good sign for a metal album.  It is a statement of intent for this album, one that might be hard to live up to.

02 – Frantic Believer

‘Frantic Believer’ mixing latter day Queens of the Stone Age with Stone Sour, with a distinct flavour of their own added to the sound as well.  It is a multi-layered song with a great dynamic and one of the heaviest chorus sections I have heard outside of extreme/death/black metal in 2017.  The breakdown in the bridge takes a bit of the energy out of the song, but then it builds back up and you are back in the raptor that is ‘Frantic Believer’.  I like the way it is mixing style here, New Language is trying not to be anyone else but themselves and songs like this help their cause.

03 – Stay With Us

Starting with the song fading in, ‘Stay With Us’ is a song that is trapped between the fast pace of the drums and bass and the slower guitar and vocals for the most part on this song.  It is a post/alternative metal hybrid on this song, with another mixed bag of styles that on paper should be chaotic.  However, (and against all odds) these are mixed together incredibly well, showing a maturity that is missing from a lot of bands.

04 – Come Alive

The title track of this album would not have been out of place in the days of nu-metal, with a sound that was used by many bands of that era.  It’s a song I have played a few times on my show, due to an insanely catchy chorus that doesn’t stop, to be honest.  This is a song that’ll be a centrepiece of their live show, as it sounds as loud as hell unleashed on heaven’s armies.  I really like this one, it’s a great song.

05 – Right Now

“Right Now” has a bit of a false start with a Punk riff, but this is soon morphing into a strong contender for song of the album.  The guitar sound should not work with the drumming, one paper it should be a mess, but these people seem to find music where others would find nothing.  It is a brilliant song, I adore the way it ends with a mixture of chaos and frantic guitar work.

06 – Digging Through My Mind

“Digging Through My Mind” looks at the state which some people find themselves.  It’s a slower number, one that is reflected in the dark thought patterns which are explored in depth.  Depression is something that can be suffocating, New Language manages to find a way to vocalise this and not make it sound fake.  It’s a brave number, one that shows that people do struggle, and that help is sometimes required.

07 – Hollow

“Hollow” brings back the noise to Come Alive”, once again tackling the dark thought patterns that can be involved in your life.  It is a great song, one which has a clear path between chaos, the calm of the bridge, and the pattern repeated as they return to chaos before the absence of noise at the end of the song.  It’s another good song, one which is worth checking out.

08 – Knocking At Your Door

“Knocking At Your Door” is a bit of a swing-n-miss track for me.  The main riff at the beginning of the song and used for the bridge is really interesting, that definitely has my attention.  But the rest of the song feels a little tired, there is a feeling that this song has been brought together with unfinished numbers and it’s not quite gelled correctly.  It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not as exciting as other numbers on this album.

09 – Everything’s In Line

“Everything’s In Line” is a hypnotic track that New Language has decided to use as the penultimate song of this album, with lots of moody moments, various dream-like effects used on the guitars and it a dark number to be honest.  There is obviously a sense of regret to the words on this one, but there is also the desire to look forwards as well.  It takes a while to get going but it’s worth the effort, it’s the true definition of a slow burner.

10 – Shut It Down

With “Shut It Down”, New Language have essentially created another dark number, one which gives this album a set of melodic twins to end the record (when you consider “Everything’s In Line” as well).  “Shut It Down” has such an amazing hook, one that has been stuck in my head for months.  It ends the album in the best way, with you wanting more and reaching to play this song again.

For me, this is for fans of A Perfect Circle, Stone Sour and Post Metal in general, with a small slice of math-core in there as well – basically, they are hard to pigeonhole!  To be totally honest with you, that is a good position to be in.  You can see their influences, but there is more than enough noise that is of their own creation.  What I like here is that they have aimed for the stars and it has sort of work.  Obviously, there will be room for improvement, each band can always strive for better and New Language are no exception to that rule.  But for a debut release, this is a strong release (coupled with their recent EP (spoiler alert, to be reviewed separately)) which shows that New Language is a band to watch in the future.

8 out of ten – Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart.

Top track – Shut It Down

At the time of writing, Come Alive is not on Deezer.

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