Memphis May Fire are pretty much the good-boys of post-hardcore. That's not a bad thing, though. Their music always has a touch of God in it, often meaning very personal and uplifting messages come with it. With a new album on the horizon (details here), it's time to tap into what kind of sound the band will venture into next.
The first single from the next record (entitled This Light I Hold) is 'Carry On'. It's nothing special instrumentally, but it's a pretty rocking MMF track. It almost sounds like a lite-version of their previous effort's - 2014's Unconditional - 'No Ordinary Love', with the cleaner verses traded out with more brutal screaming but the downtuned riffs and blasting kick drums staying present. The chorus highlights vocalist Matty Mullins' aggressively clean vocals. The bridge takes a short reprieve, the instrumental fading to something quieter and Mullins delivering another motivational message. The song explodes once again into the final chorus with a more positive composure to it.
While everything may seem pristine on the surface, that really isn't the case with this track. It's not another version of Challenger (the main concern with their last record) but if this track indicates what the next album will hold, it's going to be a bit underwhelming. This track doesn't really have any meat to it. It's heavy to start with but it loses all of that momentum as it progresses. The third verse is almost cringey. The second verse is screamed and the lyrics are... passable, but then a quieter clean verse comes in with Mullins preaching about selling your values for profit: "Sell your soul for platinum / Sell the truth for gold / You can be the next big thing / If you turn your back on what you know."
The problem is that this song lacks any subtlety. It's very much to the point, without even trying to find a way around directly saying what the song means. The bridge blatantly says: "I will never be like you / I'm not a puppet on a string / I'm not one of your machines / I'm not doing this for you / I'm not doing this for me / It's bigger than what you choose to see." It literally sounds like he's in an exasperated argument with someone. Not in the way of an internal struggle or a falling out, but as in a petty couple of teenagers having an argument. The writing of this track really is almost laughable.
This Light I Hold isn't off to a hot start. 'Carry On' is a pretty underwhelming track written without any sense of metaphor or subtlety. If you're going to speak of religious teachings, you can't simply state what you want to get across. Memphis May Fire was good at this before, and even when things weren't subtle there were other elements of songs that would make it powerful. 'Cary On' is just so painfully standard - you can see the potential it could have and end up disappointed when it doesn't go anywhere. Let's hold the album holds out and is miles better than what the single reveals.
Rating: 59 / 100