Beartooth - Aggressive
Reviewed Before Release on 6/3
Beartooth was one of those bands that took me by surprise with the release of their original EP, Sick, back in 2013. Caleb Shomo had dropped the emo look of his past band Attack Attack! and moved into a mature more bearable (pun intended) route with Beartooth. I can remember constantly listening to Sick until the release of their debut full-length Disgusting in 2014, which has been a constant banger for the past two years and left a lot of shoe to fill on their next release: Aggressive.
Announced for release in a week or so on June 3rd across the world, Aggressive’s singles started quite the hype train, although “Loser” still feels mildly immature for something Beartooth would tackle since they’ve covered such mature themes as domestic abuse and alcoholism with past releases.
Listening to Aggressive in full, it’s really the farthest thing from aggressive. It starts with the title track, which was the first single they released and feels familiar and welcome. I instantly noticed a drop in tone with the second track “Hated,” which feels like they are moving from a melodic hardcore/metalcore band to a very poppy post-hardcore act with extreme similarities to bands such as A Day to Remember and newer Bring Me The Horizon. I’m okay with it since it still has that fast and hard Beartooth style. Skipping clear over “Loser” and moving onto “Fair Weather Friend,” this track starts off with a soft riff that turns into a very pop-punk like song with trace amounts of metalcore at some points. I immediately knew that something was up and had a bad feeling in my gut for the remainder of the album.
“Burnout” is a surprisingly crushing track, the old Beartooth with some new, making it easily my favorite track on the album. It eased that feeling in my stomach. "Sick of Me" isn’t terrible but is very similar to “Burnout” with a chorus that feels mildly recycled, but hits like a brick. Suddenly, that feeling in my stomach rose again and stayed for the remainder of the album. The rest of Aggressive, besides the other single “Always Dead,” is upsetting. There are still breakdowns to keep that metalcore feel, but other than that, it feels too much like pop-punk. If you are looking for more music like Disgusting and Sick, your best bet would be to skip this album.