We Are Defiance

Trust In Few

Written by: BL on 13/06/2011 18:02:46

We Are Defiance from central Florida, US are hoping to hit the big leagues with the supposedly hype-anticipated "Trust In Few". Produced by ex-A Day To Remember guitarist/writer Tom Denney, We Are Defiance's debut album manages to share more than obvious similarities to A Day To Remember, including those seriously poppy hook driven clean vocals and the same kind of hard hitting metalcore breakdowns and screamed verses. While it's not the case that We Are Defiance set out to sound like them deliberately we have certainly seen a whole boatload of bands who have tried their hand at the same kind of pop-metalcore combo since A Day To Remember became so big, and none of them have really managed to stick out as anything more than a clone or wannabe trying to cling onto the wagon of success. "Trust In Few" is certainly better than most average attempts, while throwing in some flavours of its own. It doesn't do everything right though.

For a start, the first two songs on what is already a short album at just over thirty minutes of playtime are entirely skippable in my opinion and I'm getting tired whenever this happens. The first is a slow and brooding instrumental which doesn't really have any real atmosphere nor purpose but to set up the second track, which starts with what is probably the most generic kind of heavy breakdown these days (start with normal open string guitar chugging, then drag out some slower brootal chords) before going into some watered down hardcore sections and more chugging. I can't say the band will really be turning any ears if this is the best they can do - fortunately though not the case. Granted the album got off to a rather poor start, but hopes were raised a fair bit when the album really starts at track three with "You're Killin Me Smalls!" and the introduction of the clean singing second vocalist Jason Neil. While Jason sings at a pitch that doesn't seem particularly unique against the sea of androdgynous wailing teens out there all crooning away inbetween breakdowns, he certainly has an energy to his parts and a well defined, solid tone to his voice that really livens the music as a contrast to the screamer Brian Calzini. Through the album we get reminded in so many ways that his choruses are sort of bread and butter to We Are Defiance to the point where, while you come to expect simple verse chorus structures to get repetitive, you know that if it was just all screaming (like the second song "Welcome To The Sunshine State" was) then it would get even more boring even quicker because Brian has very little range in his screams to carry the vocals by himself.

Moving along, songs like "It's Not A Problem Unless You Make It One", "To The Moon", "I'm Gonna Bury Your Underground Eli." and "Not Another Song About You" all fit right into that "For Those Who Have Heart" era A Day To Remember style mould. Fast aggressive verses are thrown at you like fists at a boxing match, before big devilishly catchy choruses picks you up and gets everyone singing along. Obviously there was no duo dynamic on that A Day To Remember album and screaming a verse before having singing and vice versa isn't exactly anything groundbreaking, but it works fairly effectively here because it keeps things simple. And really thats the strongest aspect of the entire album if anything next to the clean vocals - nothing ever becomes too much or too complicated and so its relatively easy to get into the songs themselves. That said a lot of these tracks also feel almost by the book to each other and so none of them can be considered outstanding, more like just decent. Still, when you get to the album's peak, "The Weight Of The Sea" is a great song that doesn't get weighted down with meaningless breakdowns or ambitious instrumental wizardry, and instead focuses on its strong melodies and great melodic choruses to make the most rounded off song on the album and one of two songs that you will likely remember above all the others. The other being at the end of the album, "Sincerity" is a suprisingly heart felt closer with some well thought out vocal and guitar melodies, prominent lyrics and a clever buildup, but doesn't overcomplicate its message nor its delivery.

At the end of the ride, I come away feeling somewhat satisfied with the listening experience "Trust In Few" offers. It's certainly not a spectacular album nor would I approach at it with my all serious face on. It doesn't take a step forward for the American post-hardcore genre, nor do its individual strengths really lift itself above much of the competition out there considering We Are Defiance sound so similar to A Day To Remember and Close To Home. But, some really good songs amidst a pack of above average filler material might be worth a few more listens somewhere down the line if you so happen to enjoy post-hardcore which revolves around catchy choruses, which suits me at least just fine.

6

Download: It's Not A Problem Unless You Make It One, The Weight Of The Sea, Sincerity
For the fans of: A Day To Remember, Close To Home, Paddock Park
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 29.03.2011
Tragic Hero Records

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