When I purchased Akissforjersey's Keep Your Head Above The Water off iTunes, I honestly expected more. I knew this was a post-hardcore band, but I expected the album to be heavy and melodic at the same time. Instead, I got a little heavy and a little melody. This culminated to a decent but disappointing album.
"Without Regret" is the first track on the record. It starts the album off well, but leaves more to be desired. The strings are cool combined with harder elements, but the lead vocalist needs to work more on his clean vocals. Since it is post-hardcore, the singing is more prevalent than the screaming, so the screaming must be decent. Still, I did like the song, so I decided to keep listening. "You Carried Me While We Buried You" is a song about the day Christ died, and how Christ comforted the people while they buried Him. It's a lot heavier than the previous track, but is still good. The clean vocals are a little better here, and the screaming stands out more. The next track is really where the problems started. "The Lungs That Impress: Eternal" has a cool start, but the rest of it is a little boring. The beginning is the best, but the middle starts to lag, and the ending is pretty horrible. The length and the quality of the clean vocals ruin this song for me, and I can really only listen to the first half of it.
The next two songs on the album--"Leave That Man Be" and "Real Men Will Be Found With Their Face Flat On The Ground"--are good, but easily skippable. They really just sound too similar to each other. But the screaming dominates these tracks, so I will give them that. After a decent instrumental interlude, we have the final tracks. With the exception of "If Nothing Is Pending, We Will See Results In Eight Days," all the songs kind of blend together. "Marvin Gaye And How I Stole Myself" is not worth returning to and it's the same with "Dressed For The Occasion."
Did I like the album? Yes, but I would only recommend it for new fans of hardcore music trying to get into heavy music; it's really an acquired taste. I don't mind clean vocals, but they were so overdone on the record I kept wondering if I was even listening to a hardcore band. And, oddly enough, I could honestly understand the screaming more than the singing. Overall, Keep Your Head Above The Water, while a good listen could be a lot better. The band's next album does improve on these issues though, so I would also check Victims out.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 8/11/13, written by Harold Blanks for Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Tragic Hero
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