Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Confide - 'Shout the Truth'

[Here's an expanded review of Confide's Shout the Truth that punknews asked me to do. I hated listening to this record for Define the Meaning, and I still hate it now.]

THIS! ALBUM! IS! A! PIECE! OF! SHIT! Hear ye, hear ye, young lads and/or lasses – if you’re going to write “post-hardcore” songs, either make sure your lyrics don’t blow mega-chunks or check that your vocalist’s scream is so primal and devastating and demonic that it doesn’t matter. Confide frontman Ross Kenyon is stuck in a weird place; he can’t quite sound harsh enough to come off badass, but he can’t really hits notes either, so he’s not much of a singer. My advice: drop the douche and go instrumental. It’s not like couplets like “Honestly, were you sleeping? / Reach out touch me now” were defining kids’ lives anyway.

The music on Confide’s Shout the Truth is admittedly strong enough. The guitars are alternately gnarly, crunchy, and squeal-tastic. And metal fans will dig the copious amounts of double-kick drum. The breakdowns are obnoxiously plentiful. But for all the soaring and shredding moments, nothing feels particularly stirring.

“We’re moving forward, we’re not looking back, and we won’t be stopped. Shout the truth,” claim the liner notes. And maybe that’s Confide’s problem. It’s hard to move forward when you willfully ignore history, and Confide’s sound is atypical of the rut the much maligned screamo genre has been stuck in for the last decade or so. I’m not hearing any progressive musical ideas here, and the truth that’s being shouted is either watered down melodramatics or cookie-cutter Christian crap. Vague lyrics mean more people can relate, but tracks like “This I Believe” and “The Bigger Picture” don’t drop any insight into religion. Without any compelling reasons to believe, Shout the Truth makes for poor missionary work.

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