Failure In Vanity – We, The People (2012)

Like it or not, election season is practically on our doorstep here in the good ol’ US of A. No matter your political leanings, the incessant phone calls, posters–and last but not least–television and radio commercials are working non-stop at getting ideas and slogan lodged in your head. Failure in Vanity, an aggressive, technical metalcore outfit from New Jersey aim to nail a different political message into your skull with their latest EP, We, The People. Filled with grimy grooves, technical shredding and uplifting melodies, We, The People delivers a diverse and well-rounded message of politically-aware misanthropy sure to bring the headbang at any political convention.

At it’s most rudimentary level, We, The People is comprised of dynamic instrumentals ranging from heavy, driving bass to bi-polar guitars that reach marvelous heights from indeterminable lows. Underneath layer upon layer of strings, there lies the drums. While in most aggressive “-core” acts, the drums provide a talented but requisite heavy, low end. Failure in Vanity, however, manage to include their distinct tonal variety in their drumming, contrasting dark, heavy bass laden with pounding toms against a sharp cracking snare which cuts through the aforementioned guitar and bass layers. In a similar manner, all of the instruments range from low, grinding elements to ear-piercingly high technical inclusions which keep the listener’s ear guessing, and adds flair to their dynamic song structure.

We, The People at first glance seems like a run-of-the-mill technically-infused metalcore album. 

Shreddy and chuggy guitars? Check. Odd time signatures and drop-of-a-dime breakdowns? Check. Expert drumming? Of course. However, all of these elements culminate in a manner that is greater than each of their individual value. In fact, akin to the band’s politically-minded lyrical message, Failure In Vanity have created an EP which is greater than the sum of its already-impressive parts. Without warning, dynamic high-low riffage is prone to dropping straight into a groove as crunchy as shattered glass, shortly before flying into a melodic, tension-releasing harmony. The epic “War on Liberty” displays this expertly, opening with a The Human Abstract-esque riff before launching into a groove that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Volumes album. All the while, the bass rumbles along, playing a complimentary, yet intriguingly off-kilter riff of its own.

What truly sets Failure In Vanity apart is their dedication to diverse musical stylings. Verily, their instrumental diversity is stunning, but not unique enough to set them apart from other similar artists on its lonesome. This is where the vocals shine, providing just the right touches of ingenuity and dynamism to set We, The People above its peers. While the low growls which fly into skyscraper-height screams are captivating enough, the sprinkles of clean, beautiful vocals throughout the release is the core to Failure In Vanity’s keystone of success. Subtle, yet engrossing crooning which may as well be straight out of a Dance Gavin Dance song catch the listener completely off-guard, forcing a near-corporeal reaction to the lingering question: just what will Failure in Vanity pull out next?

It’s understandable that your head might be spinning already trying to decide who you’ll vote for–or how you can get your phone number on a “do not call” list–and for this, Failure In Vanity might not help. A political juggernaut of raunchy, uncensored honesty and brutality, We, The People is an EP which will make your head spin in a different manner: combining crunching, grinding, lacerating heaviness with smooth, subtle melody, it might just be the spin that political metalcore needs to stay relevant.

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For Fans Of: Bermuda, Adaliah, The Contortionist, Molotov Solution

By Connor Welsh ~ Me Gusta Reviews