After forming in 2005, Los Angeles hardcore band Confide hooked up with Science Records, and in 2008 went on tour with heavyweights Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Showbread. The tour garnered them a much larger fanbase than they had before, just in time for the release of their national debut album, Shout The Truth. And despite the rare occasions throughout where it gets slightly dull, it ends up being a fairly solid release.
On the whole, Confide sounds a lot like Solid State's Oh, Sleeper. Not to the point where you can just completely write them off as a bunch of wannabes, but you can just hear some similarities between the two bands. The music is very tight, and they have a knack for slowing it down mid-song without compromising the hardcore aspects. They do this several times in "00:00," and it works very well for the song. Another time they do it is at the end of "In Reply," finishing the song off nicely, and leading directly into album closer, "This I Believe." However, the closing track proves to be just the opposite, as it is a little boring, and it seems to be kind of sloppy. What they tried to do is a good idea, adding layer after layer of each band member's own vocal track, each singing something different, and all at different paces. But the finished product just didn't seem to turn out quite right. Aside from that, they're able to showcase a wealth of talent for the rest of the album.
Despite Confide being signed to a mainstream label, they do a decent job of keeping their focus on God, though they aren't always the most well-written lyrics. "I Am Scared of Me" has a chorus that says "O God keep me grounded, don't let this pull me under," which is repeated several times, and then follows up with "Why do we continue to live day by day without You? Are we too proud to ever move out from Your comfort? Now I could never live without the strong beat that continues to get me through these days that are getting colder in this dying land." It's awesome that they're bold enough to question themselves, it's just the way the lyrics are written that seems kind of mundane. Then there's some odd writing in "Holes": "I pray to God, that the devil never sees my sorry face." It's understood what he means by this, but the way it's written is a little strange. However, that's not to say that there aren't any well-written lyrics at all. Going back to "This I Believe," despite the messiness, a couple of the guys' individual lines turned out well. For instance, lead vocalist Ross repeats "I will never turn, I will never look away" while Jeff, the guitarist, says, "Can You guide me all the way, until I'm home safe with You?"
Shout The Truth's biggest strength is in the writing and performance of the music. As I said, it's very tight, and the musicians work very well together to produce some quality hardcore. The biggest weakness (though not too terrible) is the lyrics, due mainly to slightly mediocre writing. One last negative I would like to point out is the performance of the vocals. Ross' screams are strong and have lots of endurance, yet there's one thing that he likes to do all throughout the entire album, which I don't really have a term for. But an example is in "Can't See The Forest For The Trees," when he goes from screaming into a half-yelling/half-singing-off-key thing and says "Dancer, dancer, keep your feet in time and inside the lines." He does it a lot, maybe taking some influence from Underoath (a perfect example of this is in their song "There Could Be Nothing After This" from Define The Great Line) - but unfortunately it doesn't sound too great coming from this band.
Positives and negatives both abound here, which a lot of the time is to be expected from a debut album. But the negatives don't really overtake the positives, and Shout The Truth does end up being worth the money. I certainly don't expect the quality of their music to go down between now and their next release, so keep your eye on Confide, and go buy yourself a copy of Shout The Truth.- Review date: 12/6/08, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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