WILL THIS BE THEIR BIGGEST RECORD TO DATE?
HERE'S MY SONG BY SONG REVIEW OF "TRAUMA" THAT DROPS 3/29!
I'm not going to torture y'all with a long intro. I'm not going to give you the rundown on the last five years of I PREVAIL. Hell, I'm not going to go into any of the talking points that came with the preview of "Trauma" at this point because while they speak to some of the back history to the record, they don't IMHO, lend to the record as a whole.
When you hear that a record is coming out from a band you dig, what's the first thing you hope about the record? I think for me, the thing I first look for is the sound. Does it live up to the band's sound that attracted me to them in the first place? I mean, it's not til I know how the record sounds, before whittling down the ins and outs of the various songs. At least this is the beginning process of a new release of a band I like. You may do things differently, and I'd love to hear how you categorize or how you rank a new release!
So, let me just say right now, that I will be blasting this record ad nauseum because it is literally the ethan dolan of recent new releases in the metalcore genre and could be the best from I PREVAIL yet. I'm going to include the OMV for "Paranoid" in this post below, so make sure you take a listen to this track as well as the others that precede the record's release date of 3/29! Now, here's my take - track by track of "Trauma":
- Bow Down - GREAT SCOT! WTF!?! Out of the gate, this song slays and does not disappoint. BRIAN's vocals are perfection and smooth like butter between some of the most serious drops chained up in both clean/unclean vocals simultaneously. BAM! BAM! The subtle key change drew my ear closer to the speaker, almost too close at the middle bridge because at that part, you'll know the part I'm talking about too - but I leaned over to my mids on the floor to hear the whole mix and I swear, I came straight up and hollered something in surprise! This is why I love I PREVAIL for the nads to drop this f'er on us from the jump!! Plus, I'm pretty sure that the video shows some very clear interpretations of Hollyweird and how some things are handled in the biz, or so I've heard.
- Paranoid - good god-almighty! Again, that clean vocal is fire all the way up to the chorus and me-oh-my that whisper will drop kick you like one of those Murphys! The builds in this song are disguised and I totally love the way the opposite is portrayed here. You expect one thing at a place and don't get it until another few measures. It is sick!
- Every Time You Leave - godamit. Why are these kinds of relationships necessary to humans? And don't say you haven't a clue as to what I'm referring to here because, if you haven't, you will. Then come talk to me. Brutally honest, this song takes a look at the toxicity intertwined in becoming comfortable within yourself to eventually not give pieces of yourself without taking something back. The abandonment that constrains us doesn't do so in this song, though. The melodies are perfectly pitched to those feelings. I love how the melody is shared between the BRIAN and ERIC are fresh leaving one to imagine the darkness behind the lyrics. Their voices melt together and play off the solidarity of the subject. (This is just my interpretation, mind you...it could be about something completely different...)
- Rise Above It - this shit is mega. The chorus to the rap will kick your ass though. Believe that! I love the phrase "rise above" and all it means - it is tattooed on my wrist and is about 10 years old. And as a mantra, I think it should be tattooed on anyone that needs a boost anytime during any difficult situation, right? This track does make me wanna dance like Myley Cyrus is watching though, I gotta be honest!
- Breaking Down - super charged with my own reflections that scream like high beams! Big, BIG bridge with some mighty truths tucked inside pockets of the guitar riffs. I'm down hard with this song! It's amazing!
- DOA - you're walking in on some massively sweet riffs leading up to the rap in this track! Some heavy chords transmit to open breaks that squeeze your spine and pull you closer as the bursts blurt out the groove of this song! The drums and tempo move it all along fascinatingly fantastic!!
- Gasoline - My GOD! This entire track and the way the tempo moves the lyrics is a blue print of how anger can create a solid structure of impenetrable feelings. The guitar riffs are white hot - as in the hottest part of a fire! Literally, the entirety of what makes this song so mega is both the guitars and the vocals!
- Hurricane - bending chorus and paralleled verses climb to that I PREVAIL bombardment of blast beats and just when you think you've reached the end, well - just hold on for those last 40 or so seconds...my lanta!!
- Let Me Be Sad - thank you! Finally, someone says it, in a song no doubt. It's a beautifully slow but powerful track that really speaks to what feelings are. The temporary ones, that may last longer than some but we don't have to be distracted or disconnected from feelings. This song has everything big chorus, big guitars, sick skins, and BRIAN'S takes the win on the clean vocal again along with ERIC - it's solid!
- Low - fast paced, like the way the words describe falling at the first. Now, the tempo almost pushes you over! Bad ass guitars that sound like "rock bottom", confusion; but inside this track are emotional binding feelings, happy, sad and being up and down with them.
- Goodbye - slow rap, which I salute because I can actually understand the lyrics that bounce with the beat. These travel along a stoic beat that reveals how this outfit can grind it out!
- Deadweight - this track doesn't mess around, dropping an anchor and the drums pound out a realization that has been evident the whole time. It's just taken this very melody right here to pull it out of me.
- I Don't Belong Here - one of the saddest and such a misunderstood feeling someone can have, not belonging. Nice acoustic tones that exhale what the chorus brings to the surface. BRIAN is incredible with matching the tone of his voice to this melody. I love the bass line but fight the tears it wants to turn out. I hate it that we have to feel this way in any point of our lives. It's all familiar.
Holy balls! Yes, I said balls with regards to a whole record, it is ballz!! This has to be the g.o.a.t. of I PREVAIL I shit you not. I mean they swarmed 2015 with "Alone" and generated quite a movement rarely seen in Metalcore. This is obviously apparent in their stream totals to date that's close to half-a billion listens across all platforms. Not to mention in early 2017 the band stopped in Dallas and played at Trees and then the next time they rolled through they're headlining The Bomb Factory that almost doubles the size. That is a feat, just from an observer's perception.
Now, I am not going to pigeon hole this record into the genre corner and put up the baby gates so a few tracks slip through the openings. This record is straight up rock. Guitars squeal, drums pound out beats and progressions that are similar to (if not better) any modern record from the last 10 years, there are bass inflections that punch through (even if they're not supposed to), and the clean and unclean vocals are the kind of performances seasoned songsters and players that have been around forever and a day, wish for in their sugar plumb dreams. I mean, I'm saying this because sometimes the kind of performances on this record should not be passed over because I PREVAIL is in what what some might call their "infancy". That performances that show up on "Trauma" aren't note worthy or that they can't be acclaimed as brilliant for the sole fact that the band is quite new. Come on!! You know this is complete B.S. The kind like ERIC and BRIAN are vocally and the kind that STEVE and DYLAN are in their guitar playing and the whole band's ability to translate what they want to into music that can be absorbed by fans, even after just 5 years as I PREVAIL has, is brilliant and should be hailed as so.
When you listen to the lyrics in the tracks of these songs, I hope you're able to connect them to places or situations which makes "Trauma" identifiable because it drills into that part of the brain where that damage resides. Even if you've freed yourself from its grasp, this record in the best way possible, entertains that trauma right out of you. Because as humans, we all have it. We have all stuffed it, dealt with it, talked about it, ignored it, seen it in ourselves and others, and will again experience it. Only, now there's a record that you will remember specifically that you can put in and jam all that negativity out with. And if you're not into the self-help aspect of music, that's cool too. You don't have to be. You'll dig all of the power behind the tracks of "Trauma" just as much as those of us who are in touch with our feelings.
The record drops March 29th, 2019 via Fearless Records. You can pre-order and stream it here. I PREVAIL also goes on tour this Spring and into the summer and you can find all of the dates in my post about their tour on CherriBird.com or by clicking here to purchase tickets if you so wish! They have some killer bonuses that come along with VIP upgrades that you'll have to check out! And if you're wanting to don I PREVAIL'S t's or other wearable yummies to a show, you can see the whole merch line here!
I hope you've enjoyed this review as much as I enjoyed the record! "Trauma" is going to be reigning in my Top 5 if not Top 3 for 2019, I can tell you that! And when the band comes through in May, you know I'll have all of that coverage for you too so check back for everything I PREVAIL!
Til Next Time - MRML - Cherri
Listen for Bow Down, Paranoid and Breaking Down that have recently been added to 2019 Cherri Picked Spotify Playlist!