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Underoath They're Only Chasing Safety

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Underoath - They're Only Chasing Safety
01. Young And Aspiring
02. A Boy Brushed Red... Living In Black And White
03. The Impact Of Reason
04. Reinventing Your Exit
05. The Blue Note
06. It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door
07. Down, Set, Go
08. I Don't Feel Very Receptive Today
09. I'm Content With Losing
10. Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape
Reviewed by: Cory   //   Published: 7/10/2004

It is a particular shame in the world of underground music that when a band doesn't evolve, their fans become resetless, but when a band does change their sound they are immediately mocked and accused of "selling out" by the scene that helped build their reputation. Regardless of the motivation behind these changes, if a band can change without sounding forced or uncomfortable, it doesn't seem reasonable to hold it against them. On their most recent release, Underoath have unveiled their "new" sound, which strays drastically from the full-on metal assault of "Cries of the Past" in favor of a more mall-friendly approach: simplified guitar lines, less metal drumming and tons of clean vocals. While I can't say I like the direction they're going, they certainly seem to be happy with it and it comes through on "They're Only Chasing Safety." They at least sound as comfortable with their new sound as they have on past records, and sometimes more.

Anyone who has followed Underoath's progression might have seen this coming when they released "Changing Of The Times." Both that record and the newest suggest that the band knew that despite their past success, they needed to have a greater appeal if they wanted their fanbase to keep growing. The emphasis has shifted from heaviness to song-writing which works in most cases on this record without taking too much from the songs. "Reinventing Your Exit" is a catchy rocker despite some terrible techno/keyboard parts. The disc's opening cut, "Young and Aspiring" has great hooks and memorable playing. The choir part of "It's Dangerous Business Just Walking Out Your Front Door" is pretty damn clever. As many times as someone can point to parts that are a little cheesy, I can find something that I like about this record. For example, the guy's clean vocals remind me of Chris Carraba (which is cheesy as hell) but his scream is as good as most more punishing metal-core bands (which I like.)

One thing that I had almost completely forgotten by the end of this record was that Underoath are a Christian band. I suppose their message pokes out in a few of the earlier tracks, but when I got to "Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape," I was a bit thrown by the cries of "Jesus!" To me it was good that I could listen to 90% of this record without being beaten over the head with the band's Christianity. As much as I might love some early Zao records, their lyrics constantly reference their religion. Underoath doesn't seem to feel the need to shove it down the listener's throat. I wish a few of my favorite straight edge bands would take a cue from Underoath and learn the fine art of subtlety.

Two quick detractions: First, the production on this record is ridiculous. I am not complaining about the sound, because that is genuinely great, but about the excessive use of senseless techno garbage, keyboard parts and terrible effects, as in the intro to "Down. Set. Go." This is the sort of thing that seems to happen WAY too much when bands want to put out their first big mainstream record. It drives me absolutely insane. Secondly, the dual album covers and packaging are just silly. I'm all for artful and interesting packaging, but when it doesn't fit your record it just isn't necessary and makes a band come off as pretentious without the artsiness to justify it.

Bottom Line: "They're Only Chasing Safety" is the sort of record that I can see a lot of hardcore and metal fans liking despite Underoath's propensity for the poppy side of things. It's not favorite record material. It's not groundbreaking record material. It's just the sort of solid songwriting and playing that has led to the success of bands like Thrice and From Autumn To Ashes. I consider these bands amongst my guilty pleasures, the sort of lighter fare that gives me a break from something more musically intense. "They're Only Chasing Safety" has definitely earned its place somewhere in there; I don't love this record, but I definitely like it.

Comments
littlebabydix_666   posted 12/5/2013 9:12:31 AM
"screamo" isn't a real genre. Your opinion is invalid.
Jamey Gillespie_   posted 10/6/2009 5:59:50 PM
You f*cking shithead. You don't know the first thing about screamo; we put a lot of time and effort into this CD, and it's one of the heaviest releases of the year. We better not catch you around at any shows, because if my crew sees you, you'll wish you never got out of bed that day. Oh, and to everyone who actually CARES about this record, listen up! Thanks to everybody who bought it already but for those who have not been able to find it, try TARGET, yes TARGET is stocking it for ONLY $6.99 a
kyle_   posted 3/4/2007 1:48:09 PM
this cd is not melodic hardcore.
its generic alternitive gay screamo
and note: not real screamo..just what everyone thinks screamo is
anonymous   posted 7/29/2006 8:48:44 PM
i wqouls duxkinf kill wla of you
Ben_   posted 6/13/2006 11:52:00 AM
this cd sucks major ass, all they care about now is money. cries of the past was an amzing cd, they should seriously change their name to gay emo boys.

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