Thursday, 29 September 2016

Review: Famous Last Words 'The Incubus'

Through a mixture of beautiful clean vocals, monstrous screams and gripping hooks; Michigan’s Famous Last Words have been making good ground throughout the post-hardcore genre. Never afraid to try something a little different – the quintet have managed to keep fans on their toes with previous efforts ‘Two Faced Charade’ (2013) and ‘Council Of The Dead’ (2014). Two years removed from their last full LP release, and Famous Last Words are back with ‘The Incubus’, an album that’s theme is centred around sexual/domestic violence, and tackles this in an incredibly interesting way.

For a band whose music can have a taste of light undertones, the idea of a record taking on such a serious subject can be relatively juxtaposing. Tracks such as ‘Trophy Wife’ and ‘Debilitated’ feature techno elements reminiscent of early Panic! At The Disco material which at times can jar against the serious nature that Famous Last Words are trying to get over on this album.

In general though, it’s pretty much as you were for the five piece in terms of sound, with ‘Pretty In Porcelain’ and ‘Maze In My Mind’ featuring the bass heavy, pounding riffs which have been a main stay in the bands’ sound since their inception. This, added with the hook induced lead vocals of Jeremy Tollas creates the big, enigmatic styled environment where Famous Last Words flourish.

As expected, it’s when the choruses are turned up to 11 that ‘The Incubus’ is at its heartfelt best. ‘Bury My Burdens’ and ‘The Dark You Fear In The Night’ all feature Tollas performing deep, bludgeoning screams throughout and then flipping the switch into masterful melody at a moments notice, resulting in songs that are filled with knockout punches and graceful sweeps. They tell the tale of a band that know exactly what they do well, and exactly how to execute it.

Even in areas where the record deflates somewhat on songs such as ‘Marionette’, the heavyweight feel of the tracks are somewhat carried throughout by the drumming performance of Craig Simons – whose every fill lifts the sound almost out of the solar system and ‘The Incubus’ benefits massively from Simons’ power.

‘How The Mighty Mock The Week’ brings a different feel to the album in the way of acoustic, lush tones. It’s a welcome break away from a record that was previously only full of one or two flavours. The track itself is almost certain to make its way into Famous Last Words live set, with its instant relatability and beauty.

‘The Incubus’ is a record that was written well, produced excellently and will do exactly what Famous Last Words will want it to do for them. At some point, the quintet will need to expand and show what else they can have on offer. But for now; if you’re looking for post-hardcore brimmed with hook filled choruses – ‘The Incubus’ is where it’s at.

Score: 7.5/10  

Fuel Rock Club

Fuel Rock Club
Cardiff's Only Dedicated Rock & Metal Bar and Club