I don't know about anyone else but when I get a new album I don't listen to it right away at first. I usually check out the song the titles, then I look at the thank-you list, and then read over some lyrics just I can get a feel for the band before I actually listen to the music. Sometimes even the layout itself will appeal to me more than wanting to hear the album itself. Unfortunately, To Never Live in Denial has the worst layout I've seen in quite sometime with it's hacked up images, scrawled words, and lyrics pasted over images of children. Thankfully, Rally the Fray has their hearts in the right places with thought provoking lyrics that go far beyond being stabbed in the back or a bad break-up. They cover topics such as growing up, integrity, and Western culture, and all the lyrics are intelligently worded. They even go as far as adding explanations to their lyrics. How many bands do you see do that these days? Wow. Then I pushed play.
To Never Live in Denial starts off earnestly enough with a short melodic instrumental intro that reminds of the intro on By the Grace of God's Perspective. A nice little poppy riff is backed by some mid-tempo drumming and some one talks about how they aren't obliged to save the world. Sweet. Then it's all downhill from there.
Rally the Fray's main vocalist sucks and I usually don't like using the word "sucks" to describe anything musically. But when you sound like the guy from Atreyu, what else can I say? Also, if your drummer can't play fast, don't try and play fast. It's a difficult listen when you hear a drummer to keep up with the rest of the band and failing.
Rally the Fray works best when they use gang vocals ala Comeback Kid and their ilk while the guitar players use snappy little harmonious licks and interplay with crisscross riffs. It's too bad these songs are so shabbily written you don't know what's going on half the time. Atreyu dude growls, then talks, some people shout, they go fast, guitars noodle, the drummer falls apart and then they add in mosh parts. Mosh parts with mosh parts. More mosh parts. It's like they threw all their song ideas into a pot and just plucked them out haphazardly and decided to call them "songs".
Rally the Fray tries to play metal-tinged hardcore with galloping drums, hot guitar fills, and demon growled vocals. They aren't metalcore though, but falling somewhere between With Honor and Shai Hulud if both bands were just learning how to play their instruments.
I feel bad for Rally the Fray, they surely have their hearts in the right places and that's sewed clearly on their sleeves. Nevertheless, musically they can't make anything cohesive enough for any of the ten songs on To Never Live in Denial to be memorable. If that isn't bad enough, then you have to deal with the grunted, growled metal vocals. Ugh. And if that isn't enough to make you want to hate life, you get to hear Rally the Fray cover a Bad Religion song. Sorry guys, you are going to have to try harder than using cumbersome words in your lyrics and have 100 people shout in your songs to get the stamp of approval from me. Drop the singer, skip the fast parts, and drop the mosh parts all together, and then get back to me.
2.0 / 10
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