Lead Sails, Paper Anchor
The band continues the harsh, scathing approach
The US gets this release via Hollywood Records, internationally it ships via Roadrunner. Typically hardcore critics will upbraid bands like Atreyu, Blessthefall, Avenged Sevenfold and the ilk for their pop characteristics and general “sell-out” posturing. I disagree as I feel a good abundance of these bands really help diversify the stale rock climate currently permeating American soil. Take it or leave it, the kids can rock and Atreyu is no exception.
The three albums prior, ‘Suicide Notes…’ (2002), ‘The Curse’ (2004) and ‘A Death-grip on Yesterday’ (2006) were much more abrasive and helped to further establish the metalcore movement of the 00s. With ‘Lead Sails, Paper Anchor’ the band continues the harsh, scathing approach of powerful guitars mixed with screaming vocals and clean sung chorus parts. However, within that ridged backbone of metalcore is an illustrious pop joint that pushes this further into post-hardcore regions. Opener “Doomsday” is full on hardcore stance but explodes into one of the most commercially accessible chorus pieces the band has written. The same could be said for the invective single “Becoming the Bull” with a main riff that reminds me of Bullet Boys or Slaughter, pop sensibility meets hair metal with enough wits to keep it fresh and constant. “Blow” systematically blows away the best of Motley Crue post-‘Shout’, a potty mouthed rock box of effective rhythms, spot on vocals, pounding percussion and a sizable ripping lead at the three minute mark. “Honor” has to be influenced by last year’s Ronnie Radke and his Escape the Fate mop heads.
Selling out or out selling? What’s the difference really when albums like this skirt the redundant for a slice of the bigger pie? I call it bold, fresh and invigorating.