ALBUM REVIEW: BEARTOOTH – ‘AGGRESSIVE’

7 stars

Beartooth have recorded a meteoric rise ever since Caleb Shomo brought his brainchild to life a few years ago. Sick and Disgusting coupled meaty riffs with raw emotions and choruses bigger than some bands back catalogues, so it’s no wonder the band have been a relentless touring machine, gaining new fans and taking in bigger venues every step of the way. After some much needed down time and a winter of writing the boys are back with new album Aggressive. Is the title anything to go by for how this record is going to sound?

The title track breaks us in and reminds us of what Beartooth are all about. However on this opening the riffs are heavier and the vocals are rawer than ever before. Then there’s the chorus, possibly the catchiest of the bands short career so far. It’s brimming with anthemic quality and oozing with confidence, and there’s even more of it to come. ‘Hated’ follows on with a more punk rock approach with dashes of melody, some of that John Feldmann influence creeping in there, who produced and mixed the record. ‘Loser’ carries on with the punk fuelled riffs making this sound like a more upbeat record than the last but the subject matters still remain personal and vulnerable, “Maybe I wasn’t like all the normal kids, I was born just a little bit different”.

After the barrage our ears have just taken ‘Fair Weather Friend’ falls a little flat, it’s a more simplistic and straight forward number that after the opening trio doesn’t excite us in the same way. ‘Burnout’ brings back the fury in the riffs and verses and is backed up with another gigantic chorus. Beartooth are a good gateway band for intrigued listeners to get into the heavier side of music and with songs like ‘Sick Of Me’ and ‘Censored’. The latter seethes with angst and rides a wave of tension with a subtle bounce and groove to coast it home. ‘Always Dead’ boasts being the heaviest song on the record whilst ‘King of Anything’ is almost the polar opposite, a stripped back interlude style number thats brings about some form of rest from the onslaught.

‘However You Want It Said’ is more pop punk than it is anything else, whilst we know Caleb can write an infectious chorus and streamlined track, the lack of power and punch takes our interest somewhere else for a few minutes. ‘Find A Way’ finds a way of reigning in our concentration levels with a change of tone and energy, sounding fitting on a number of mid-00s bands back catalogues. ‘Rock Is Dead’ takes a swipe at all the negative comments that have unfortunately come from the elder statesman of our world recently, “If rock n roll’s dead you can kill me right now”. Aggressive doesn’t always set fire to everything it touches but there’s more than enough to keep the band on their rapid ascend to the top of our scene with raw riffs and choruses for days. (7/10)

Written by Joshua Clarke (@jcplarke91)

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