Perhaps there's a cloning factory hidden somewhere in an abandoned Cleveland industrial park. Maybe Standby Records merely needed to fill the vacuum left when Black Veil Brides jumped to the competing Lava Records. Here they present, on the strength of a previous EP and growing fan base, The Relapse Symphony and their full-length debut, Shadows.
The band may remind of My Chemical Romance, Black Veil Brides, among others of modern era melodic hard rock who preceded them. Listening, at times, TRS reminds me of what would happen if you dropped Green Day into LA's Sunset Strip circa 1987. First, if this actually happened to Green Day, they'd get the shit kicked out of them, and deservedly so. But musically speaking TRS has this modern pop punk Green Day sound, catchy and accessible. And lead vocalist Bret Von Dehl has some timbre of that little shit, Billie Joe Armstrong.
After this, they have the whole big hair (selling out black dye), tattoos out the kazoo, denim and leather thing going on ala Eighties glam. Musically, what they take away from this classic genre is strong vocal harmonies, significant catchy melodies, big rock groove, enough metal edge, and, gasp, for modern rock, some guitar solos. These are good elements, and consequently good strengths, to have. Then throw in some post-grunge modern era youthful angst about being downtrodden, misunderstood, or simply rejected in lost love, and I can see 15 year old girls begging their daddies to take them to a show. However, those lyrical themes are in contrast to most Eighties glam, which was more about living loosely and partying hard.
Considering the odd paths rock music could take from 'back in the day' to this day, The Relapse Symphony could be third generation and this generation's Motley Crue or Guns N Roses. I can hear my generation lining up to kick my ass now. What goes around comes around, I suppose. Whether some would call it a flaw or not, there is a certain 'sameness' to the songs. Best case scenario is that the band is refining their sound, worst case is that reached a deadend already on the first album. Nevertheless, The Relapse Symphony definitely makes a case for interesting and generally entertaining modern melodic hard rock, that recalls the best of the genre, past and present. Top picks: We Are The Broken, Angels Take Us Demons Save Us, Make Your Move, the speedy Savage Eyes, and nearly somber Forever Slowly.
The Relapse Symphony definitely makes a case for interesting and generally entertaining modern melodic hard rock, that recalls the best of the genre, past and present.
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