Lucky me and you
Killing The Dream are one of those bands which have seemingly tended to avoid the hype which accompanies many comparable bands (eg. Dead Swans), yet nonetheless exceed the ability of their peers to innovate and continue to create interesting music. Formed in 2002, they’ve quietly built a respectful following with their brand of passionate, melodic and unrelentingly heavy hardcore. Picking up right where 2008’s “Fractures” left off, “Lucky Me” is perhaps KTD’s best work so far, a perfectly crafted work of emotive hardcore which fuses many of the band’s strengths with additional musical elements. While maintaining their signature metallic hardcore intensity and heartfelt vocals, “Lucky Me” is miles away from the moshier tunes of their earlier self-titled album and “In Place Apart”. At just seven songs, “Lucky Me” is pretty short for a release branded as full-length, even by hardcore standards. Nevertheless the gripping intensity of every moment of this release means that it doesn’t seem overly brief (if anything “Fractures” was arguably a little too long).
A major noticeable difference throughout the release is the increasing inclusion of sporadic melodic vocals. “Blame The Architects” opens the record on a chaotic, pissed-off note. Here we get the first taste of frontman Elijah Horner’s melodic vocals, a welcome inclusion which provide another great element to their sound. A drawn-out, downbeat melodic bridge (which even includes some strings) progresses into a heavy, emotional crescendo that is sure to have skinny kids in flannelette shirts punching their own heads in. “Walking, Diseased” is a fast, angry number which is far more familiar KTD territory. Again however there is the brief inclusion of some melodic vocals, again complimenting an otherwise discordant, melody-less song. The song has awesome recurrent thrashy riffs, fading out with a cool finger-tapped lead guitar. “Testimony” features the cleanest vocals yet, offered by ex-Dance Gavin Dance frontman Kurt Travis. While it’s difficult to choose favourites, this track is definitely one of the strongest songs, combining a Brand New-esque sense of angst with a final dissonant, brutal breakdown.
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“Past Of A Saint (We Were Thieves)” is another hard-hitting track, which is musically the most melodic on the record. “Part IV (Sinner’s Future)” is a spine-tingling, anthemic, instrumental interlude which undoubtedly will come to be the band’s live opener. This track leads into “Hell Can Wait”, another characteristically fast and fierce song which features a classic discordant KTD two-step riff towards its conclusion. The closer “Black” encapsulates the best elements of what Killing The Dream have come to be. Opening with a delicate melodic riff, furious gang vocals and chugging guitars slowly fade in and drown out the melody. Horner’s commanding vocals burst in and are accompanied by fast-paced, heavy, and melody-laced riffs, leading into the hair-raising, face-palming climax of a top-quality release.
Refusing to rest upon their laurels, “Lucky Me” reasserts that Killing The Dream have continued to push their music to new levels while maintaining a highly distinct sound. This record features some of the best riffs this band has ever written, demonstrating why KTD are such an (understatedly) influential band in terms of this niche of the hardcore genre. “Lucky Me” is everything modern hardcore should be: pissed-off, mature and interesting.
1. Blame The Architects
2. Walking, Diseased
4. Past Of A Saint (We Were Thieves)
5. Part IV (Sinner's Future)
6. Hell Can Wait