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Red Bull Records
By: Scott Turney
Beartooth is a four piece hardcore punk/metalcore band hailing from Columbus, Ohio and are currently signed to Red Bull Records. Back in 2014 Beartooth released their debut album ‘Disgusting’ which went on to receive rave reviews and commercial success. Now in 2016, Beartooth is back at it again releasing their sophomore album ‘Aggressive’. Questions were swirling around the music scene. Would the new album be more mainstream? Will Beartooth change their sound? The answers to those questions are NO. The new album amplifies everything from the first album ten-fold. ‘Aggressive’ is forty minutes of pure in your face music right from the very start.
The album begins with the title track “Aggressive”. Caleb Shomo starts things off by singing “I might be in too much debt with the hell in my head. I’m way too aggressive. The nervous ticks, the twitch in my neck. I’ll never oppress it.. NO!” Before a breakdown hits and not only the song but the album really takes off. The track continues with Shomo’s improved vocal range, seamlessly switching between singing and screaming. The next song “Hated” continues with great lyrics, “Who knew you’d be hated for being who you are, and be a big target for all the insecure.” That is something that this album has plenty of. Having lyrics that listeners can relate to is something Caleb Shomo has done for years.
The third track “Loser” is no different lyrically, which talks about Shomo being rejected as a kid and growing up a little bit differently than everyone else, but that is what made him who he is today. Not only the lyrics, but the transition of intensity in the music really completes the song as a whole. That is what makes Beartooth so good, they know when to pump the brakes on intensity and then stomp down on the gas pedal where it fits in the song. The fifth song “Burnout” showcases Shomo talking about his music career “It’s really getting old writing negative songs, beating myself up to get another word out. How much time have I lost yelling about all the pain I feel?!” Shomo has been in multiple bands, but most notably Attack Attack back in his teen years. The next song “Sick of Me” talks about his six years being in Attack Attack and how it was an agonizing time in his life. All this time Shomo has had this pent up aggression and he is finally letting it loose for the whole world to hear.
The eighth track “Always Dead” is one of the fastest and most face-melting songs on the album, it is also the second single released by Beartooth. The song talks about all the types of people Shomo hates and as he yells “You’ll always be dead to me!” The next song “However You Want It Said” is much calmer than the previous song. The track includes some oooohs and aaahs that really showcases Shomo’s vocal range and that sets it apart from other songs on the record. The eleventh song off the album “Rock Is Dead” is all about rock music and how it is not going down without a fight. “So you don’t understand a word I say, Either way it’s probably worth listening. If this whole thing’s fading away you better know it’s going down swinging.” The twelfth and final song is “King of Anything” which is a shift from the rest of the album. The two minute eleven second song features Shomo by himself playing a downtuned guitar, while he sings about himself being nothing. “I’m not close to perfect, I’m not close to sane” Shomo is telling his fans that he someone you should not look up to, because he is no role model because he is going through his own pain and struggles, evident by the music he is putting out.
Beartooth has yet again created another impressive album. Shomo has improved his vocal range and that is evident from the very first track “Aggressive” Lyrically every song off of ‘Aggressive’ hits the listener like a freight train running through their hearts. The emotion that is pouring out of this record is astounding. Once the album is complete, all that needs to be done is hit replay and start the whirlwind of emotions again. What started off as a project for Caleb Shomo is now a band with huge success that will only get better from now. Popdeflators gives Beartooth’s album ‘Aggressive’ 5 out of 5 stars for not only the heartfelt lyrics but the music that intertwines with it, creating one of the best albums of 2016.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “Aggressive”