Release DetailsLABEL Detournement Records
RELEASED ON 12/17/2006
In The Face of War
We Make Our Own Luck
posted on 1/2007 By:
As I sit here listening to In The Face Of War’s Detournement Records debut, We Make Our Own Luck, for what has to be the tenth or eleventh time, I’m stumped. The only thing that sticks out is how much they sound like the simplest combination of Converge, Death By Stereo, and Bleeding Kansas, at least to me. Even though the band has been together for a number of years now, for some reason, this Kokomo, Indiana six-piece sounds like the hardcore group your best friend’s little brother is in. You know, that band.
What does this mean? It means they sound spirited, a little obnoxious, somewhat cluttered and overly ambitious, and completely devoid of subtlety. In The Face Of War’s lively, loosely chugging riff-fest method of songwriting is one that rarely slows its forward momentum, trouncing along with rhythms full of grit, hyperactive and bouncing drum patterns, and rather strained vocals that sound like they probably won’t last another two albums at this rate. They’re definitely not metalcore, and avoid taking common easy routes by rejecting thundering breakdowns, ill-conceived blast beats, or gurgling pig vocals. It’s not all squealy and full of pinch harmonics, and isn’t primitive, chest-pounding caveman fare either. Youthful but not highly original, without sounding too copied, they’d probably make great touring partners with He Is Legend.
The thing that stumps me is how rough the flow of We Make Our Own Luck is. The music itself is melodic enough, catchy as hell and easy to follow even when things get a little more aggressive. The vocal arrangements are the monkey wrench thrown into the machine, since the lyrics are often just screamed and spit out with no regards to the rhythm of the song itself. Granted, the vocals and music aren’t completely at odds with each other, the choruses, what few there are, sound tight, but the verses are sometimes quite clumsy. The lyrics themselves are also very specific and literal, and travel down the familiar hardcore path of giving props to people who have stood by them, sounding off about their positive outlook on life, and lightening up with an occasional humorous side. It shows they don’t take themselves too seriously, but also don’t consider themselves to be a joke band either. I can respect that.
At the end of the day, as honest, passionate, and rocking as We Make Our Own Luck sometimes is, I can’t remember much about what takes place between opening track “August” (which is something like 51 seconds long), and the amazingly cheesy closing campfire sing-along track “Victims”, which goes on for almost ten minutes. As for the rest, I enjoy it while it’s playing, forget about it when it’s done, and if you didn’t tell me the band has three guitarists, I’d have never known the difference. With their debut, In The Face Of War show promise, but a greater focus on solid overall song presentation will take them much further. They’re worth a quick listen either way, so check ‘em out.
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