If you haven’t heard of The Amity Affliction by now, I am going to go ahead and assume you have literally been living under a rock. Post-hardcore is hardly a popular, radio-friendly genre, however with the release of the bands 5th studio album, This Could Be Heartbreak, TAA topped the Itunes chart on debut.
From their inception nearly 10 years ago, The Amity Affliction have admittedly been gradually moving towards a ‘poppier’ sound. Stylistically, Amity have hardly changed their sound in the last few releases.
“We always get burned about staying the same and not changing much. The same people will say we’ve sold out. You really can’t win, either way.”
While I find myself agreeing with Stringer, as a long time fan it is disappointing to see a lack of development from such a successful band. But hey, with the last two albums topping the Aria charts, and this one looking to follow suit, who could deny the ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ formula?
The album kicks off with a typical Amity song that could fit on any of their last five releases. A combination of Joel Birch’s powerful screams through heavy verses and Stringer’s over produced pop clean singing throughout big choruses showcases the Amity vibe perfectly. This sets up the rest of the album to continue with sticking to their formulaic sound, allowing the lyrical content to explore themes of depression, anxiety and overall sadness, something Amity has somewhat made as their own trademark.
Apart from the predictable nature of TAA, there are a few stand out songs on this record. “All Fucked Up” is one of the most unique songs the band has ever released. An acoustic-ish ballad, “All Fucked Up” presents a mature rawness and experimental side the band had previously been lacking. This song is a kind of turning point in the album, from which we hear the songs progressively get heavier and angrier.
“Note To Self” and “Blood In My Mouth”, the final two songs of the album are the heaviest of the release, if not Amity’s whole discography.
Overall, This Could Be Heartbreak has a good amount of variation when it comes to The Amity Affliction. Sure, T.C.B.H. is hardly a new sound, hardly groundbreaking, or different, and it could be said that they over do certain things, but so what? The Amity Affliction are portraying longevity through the sound they became so well known for. Listeners will get what they have always got, catchy sing alongs, heavy breakdowns, and lyrics about depression.
So get some new songs of the same old Amity into your ears!
The Amity Affliction are headlining stages around the country this month.