Reviews Killing the Dream Lucky Me

Killing the Dream

Lucky Me

Lucky Me is easily my most anticipated release of 2010. When I first started listening to hardcore, Killing The Dream were one of the first bands I connected with. Over the years they have become one of my favorites. I’ve been practically frothing at the mouth waiting to get my hands on this record, but upon giving it a few listens I find myself neither astonished nor disappointed. Simply content.

The album opens with the track “Blame The Architects”, which was released on a Deathwish compilation sampler earlier in the year. Knowing full well what was in store for me, I still find myself blown away by this song. The track opens with the words, “We are here to destroy the world.” From here the record explodes, pushing forward at a relentless pace, but still featuring the same melodic touches that make KTD unique. The music leans a bit more to the melodic side this time around, but don’t get the wrong impression. This record is a rager. The band continue to push their sound forward with each release, never becoming stale. The album closer, “Black”, stands among the very best that the band have ever written. I actually got the chills the first time I heard it. While KTD certainly aren’t reinventing the wheel here, they’ve perfected it down to an art.

Lucky Me finds lyricist Elijah Horner at the top of his game. He has matured to the point of not needing to use “fuck” in every other line. In fact, I’m happy (surprised is probably a better word) to report that the word “fuck” does not make a single appearance on this record, which is a far-cry from previous releases. Not to suggest that the use of profanity somehow demonstrates a lack of talent, but it’s clear here that Elijah has learned to express his rage and malcontent feelings in a more poetic and insightful way. The theme of being “lucky” permeates throughout the entire album, hence the title. “We live our lucky, privileged lives, held together forever by that girl who knew there must be something better.” “I realize just how lucky I have been when I let myself be happy, if only for a moment.” Coming from a white, middle-class male, I can’t help but relate. Despite being content with nearly every facet of my life, there are always those times when I take it all for granted. It just takes a little perspective to appreciate my situation. Lucky me.

However, I do have a few issues with the record that prevent me from giving it an exceptional score. For one, it’s incredibly short, even by KTD’s standards. There are only 7 songs, one of which is basically an interlude track. The whole thing clocks in at barely over 19 minutes. It’s been nearly 3 years since Fractures was released, so I can’t help but feel a bit cheated. Also, WHAT IS WITH THE SINGING! “Testimony” features some singing that sounds like it came from an As I Lay Dying song. A few other tracks contain singing, but in those cases it isn’t nearly as distracting, and actually complements the music fairly well. I realize that Killing the Dream are, and always have been fairly melodic, but leave the lame singing to lame metalcore bands like All That Remains and Killswitch Engage. It just sounds out of place in this context.

Lucky Me has the potential to be a grower, and could very well be Killing the Dream’s best effort thus far. At the moment though, it doesn’t click with me the way In Place Apart and Fractures did. All the key ingredients are there, but something is missing that prevents this album from achieving greatness. It is what it is: an incredibly solid release from one of, if not the best hardcore band of the 2000s. Definitely give this album a listen.

8.4 / 10Matthew Cebreros
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8.4 / 10

8.4 / 10

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