Old Gray's new album Slow Burn is anything but that. The emo punk band's new record is blistering, bursting with emotion and energy, but lacks key components to make it a great record.
Slow Burn has a solid contrast of anger and calmness. This disposition is most clearly seen in 'communion,' the almost beautiful guitar intro flowing into a brilliant instrumental, before exploding into an angry, distorted tirade of pure rage. The song is just pure anger, and it's very, very clear in its one minute burst. The angst and anger follows up in 'blunt trauma,' with no reprieve separating the rage from 'communion' into this one, Old Gray channeling their inner Dillinger Escape Plan.
This album is anger, and nothing but. That's both its success and its downfall. There are few moments that provide a break amongst its twenty minute run of rage, and amongst that distortion and violence it's hard to really stay focussed on the core idea. There's a point where anger becomes blind and distracting in all scenarios, and this album has that problem. It's not until 'i' and 'like blood to a stone' that you actually feel something other than fear or rage building up inside you. It's all well and handy to want to feel enraged while listening to a record; that may just be it's niche, but there does have to be balance somewhere in there to really maintain momentum. There's a difference between channeled anger and mindless screaming and drum hitting.
Old Gray is an interesting band, there's no doubt about that. There are many bands that live off of this enraged explosion of energy that make their music. I don't quite understand it all the time, and perhaps its my own fault; I can't really stay attached to something that's so endlessly violent. I see the passion and difference of emotion in there, but it all becomes too much at times. Slow Burn almost found that mix of calm rage and angry rage. Some seem to forget that seething rage can be just as violent as expressive rage.
Favorite Track: communion
Least Favorite Track: like blood from a stone
Rating: 60 / 100