Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Fear Before the March of Flames|
The Always Open Mouth
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
Rock music was meant to be an ever-evolving art form. Once and a while, an album comes along that changes the way people interpret music; Nirvana's Nevermind, Rage Against The Machine's Evil Empire, Refused's The Shape of ... more »
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Rock music was meant to be an ever-evolving art form. Once and a while, an album comes along that changes the way people interpret music; Nirvana's Nevermind, Rage Against The Machine's Evil Empire, Refused's The Shape of Punk To Come, and now Fear Before The March of Flames' The Always Open Mouth. The Always Open Mouth is an album that will restore faith in alternative music. It will make people remember that music was not meant to be a mass of copycat bands, but it was meant to push boundaries and reinvent itself.
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Fishing for hooks... for always open ears
Luke Rounda | Lawrence, KS | 11/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here's a good one:
Q: How do you please all the people all the time?
A: Release an album like "The Always Open Mouth."
Describing something as unexpected as "The Always Open Mouth" is a bit like describing the taste of the color purple. Whether or not this record will become a classic-- or even an underground classic-- is up for debate, but it's quite a Shiatsu brain massage to listen to, in any case. Comparisons to albums like "Nevermind" (huh?) and "The Shape of Punk to Come" (easier to see) seem unwarranted. Really, though, it all smells like teen spirit: this record is the sound of alienation. Such complexity makes for a sound that many will appropriately feel lost in-- perhaps mired in-- upon first listen. Where previous records from this band bordered on tunelessness, or fit too snugly into an already crowded mold, "The Always Open Mouth" is a piece of art that takes more than a few spins to wrap one's battered gray matter around.
A rustling sound collage ("Absolute Future") opens the record with echoing street sounds and a simply-strummed ACOUSTIC guitar figure, which should tip off all but the witless that there was something different in the water for these guys this time around. "Future" segues into the Tourette's-aggravating "Drowning The Old Hag," perhaps the closest thing to the band's older work here. Layered instrumentation lends "Hag" a previously-unknown sonic density, and well-executed prog influence ensures the track stays interesting. Then "Mouth" explodes into eardrums like nihilistic, angry shoegaze. This fire-and-forget cycle continues at a maddening pace for twelve more tracks. The dichotomy is jarring, yet somehow digs its hooks in deep.
And they're really fishing with this one. If the pond wasn't such an abysmal scumhole, more fish would probably bite, too; this record is an everything but the kitchen sink experiment: loud, technical metal riffage backlit by electronica/DJ noise, grime/hip-hop beats married to mewithoutYou monotone drawl-singing ("High as a Horse"), confusing noise collages of sirens and synth-bass ("Dog Sized Bird"), vocoder'd dancehall trips hopping headlong into unexpected cascades of metal ("My Deer Hunter"). Apply some spookiness through tasteful use of dissonance ("Lycanthropy") here and there, and shortly thereafter your head blows a fuse trying to parse the information. What it doesn't sound like is "Art Damage" (Fear Before's apoplectic 2004 LP) which is what will probably drive away most post-loyal hardcore scene kids. Where Fear Before the March of Flames' previous sound was "heavy," they are now "dense" and "thick." The evolution displayed is ripe for "White Pony" comparisons.
"The Always Open Mouth" is a big, barbed mess of unconventional hooks. Some work. Some don't. It may not qualify for album of the year simply because it's hard enough to swallow, but it is certainly one of the most adventurous records released in 2006, and for that, consumer culture has an extremely potent antidote: general indifference.
What a crime."
The Always Evolving Band [4.5 Stars]
LeftManOut | TheCityThatNeverSleeps, FL | 10/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One thing which can be said about Fear Before The March of Flames (besides having an unbelievably cool name) is that three albums into their career, they've never made the same record twice. They've also always seemingly been ahead of their time. 2003's "Odd How People Shake" was an engaging mix of hardcore and indie, which to this day still shines as bright as the first time I heard it. It was something that not many other groups had touched upon at the time, having such energy, and yet a concept of atmosphere and attention to detail. In early 2004 FBTMOF released "Art Damage," an extremely chaotic and heavy record and something which took their sound in the area of artful noise shortly before most music become utterly fascinated with pushing their extremity to the brimming point. And now with 2006's "The Always Open Mouth," Fear Before have taken another huge step in the evolution of their sound. Adding three new members, a healthy dose of new influences and a new found interest in writing music, FBTMOF have made a brash, daring and experimental piece which is likely to be one of the oddest things you hear all year. Yet there's something undeniably charming about it.
While there still may be some standard hardcore/screamo fare in tracks like "Drowning The Old Hag" and "A Gift For Fiction," "The Always Open Mouth" is largely a giant departure from Fear Before of old. Now on some levels I'm disappointed since I really loved "Odd How People Shake" and "Art Damage," but on the other hand it's exciting and invigorating to see the band attempting these new feats. I'm not even sure how to describe the direction of this record. It's really all over the place. There's heavy moments, electronic portions, atmospheric bits, melodic hooks, and more often than not all these things might be found in the same song. "Taking Cassandra To The End Of The World Party" and "Ten Seconds In Los Angeles" just might be two of the best tracks with their experimental doses of electronics, downtuned guitars and driving rhythms. Not to mention the interesting take in the vocal department. I love how they went back to the trade off vocal style again, something which made "Odd How People Shake" so good. "Dog Sized Bird" seeps of NIN's influence with its sludgy rhythms and electronics, yet its clever lyrics and vocal distortion make the track strangely appealling. The more subdued tracks like "...As A Result Of Signals Being Crossed" and "My Deer Hunter" show exceptional experimentation, combining magnificent guitar playing, excellent effects and a nice mix of differing vocal styles, things which many bands would be unable to pull off in just one song. There just so much variety found on this disc that it's hard to find something which doesn't appeal. Now sure it helps to have an odd taste in music to begin with (which you have probably already aquired if you are a FBTMOF's fan), but it might not even be necessary once the album is listened to. There's just such a vast range of sound.
If you're depressed that Fear Before The March Of Flames Has tried something new with "The Always Open Mouth," don't be. This record is really a unique and exceptional stepping stone in their sound. I can always appreciate a band which is willing to throw caution to the wind and dare to make a album which will probably stand out like a sore thumb in fan's cd collections. One listen might not be enough to get you fully addicted to the album (it wasn't for me), but the more you listen, the more you discover, and in turn the more you will appreciate what is going on here. It's funny that this band always seems to be about a year or two ahead of what everyone else is doing in the music scene. Does this mean a year or two from now all the bands will be trying to sound like this? Probably not, but we'll have to wait and see. Until then I will continue to enjoy this oddly addicting record called "The Always Open Mouth," and you should too."
The Perpetual Dropping Jaw
J. Frankenfield | Nowhere, TN USA | 09/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pardon my writing skills. This is the first album I've felt compelled to review. But that alone should say something about this album.
Let's face it, inspiration isn't easy to find these days. Every album is a copy of a copy. Your favorite band releases a CD that they swear is "much more evolved" than their last album, but it always ends up relatively the same.
Fear Before the March of Flames has certainly took the word "evolving" to new levels. The Always Open Mouth isn't merely evolved, it is evolving. With every listen you will find more and more to love about it. You most likely will not be able to grasp it on first listen, meaning it plays much better a hundred times than it does once. That isn't to say that it's a technical album (i.e. Dillinger, BTBAM), but it is very, very deep. It doesn't rely on odd time signatures and insane guitar riffs. Yet it remains one of the most complex ablums I've ever heard, with absolutely nothing to compare it to. It is an album that will surely stand the test of time, and will be very difficult to wear out.
But nothing I say is going to do The Always Open Mouth justice. You simply have to hear it, from start to finish, multiple times. If you give it time (and not much, trust me) it will grow on you. Anyone can like this CD. Everyone should. It feels largely significant at this particular point in our time. And if you haven't heard it, you won't even know what I'm trying to say with that statement.
This album lets me feel the world, the human condition at this moment. It is an alarm that people simply have to hear. Not that it will likely change anything, but an album like this gives me hope. Or at least it gives me the reassurance that not ALL the world is mindless zombies.
If you're an imaginitive person looking for something to support your knowledge that something is indeed wrong with our world, or if you are just a fan of brand new breakthrough amazing freaking albums, buy this right now, regardless of how much you think you like or dislike this band. If you're a hardcore kid who is looking for the next breakdown, don't even waste your time. You won't be practicing dance moves to this one.
Bottom line: This album is not to be taken lightly. Do not make the mistake of thinking it is a stupid album upon first listen. Give it time and it will give you inspiration that you just aren't going to find on the latest Norma Jean CD."