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Fear Before The Always Open Mouth

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01. Absolute Future 02. Drowning The Old Hag 03. Mouth 04. Taking Cassandra To The End Of The World Party 05. Ten Seconds In Los Angeles 06. The Waiting Makes Me Curious 07. High As A Horse 08. Dog Sized Bird 09. Complete And Utter Confusion 10. ...As A Result Of Signals Being Crossed 11. My Deer Hunter 12. Lycanthropy 13. A Brief Tutorial In Bachanalia 14. A Gift For Fiction 15. Absolute Past
2006 Equal Vision Records
Our score 6

by Nick
2/13/2007

I'm going to be blunt and admit that I had been avoiding this latest release from Fear Before the March of Flames right up until the day it arrived in my mailbox. After Odd How People Shake and Art Damage, I knew that there was absolutely no way that The Always Open Mouth would be even remotely worthy of a listen. Right Wrong. Although this disc isn't exactly a masterpiece, very few bands have demonstrated such a quick change from generically formulaic to experimental and exploratory as FBTMOF have done in between Art Damage and The Always Open Mouth. Like it or not, the emo-laced metalcore of old has taken a backseat to an entirely new beast on this album. A strong Radiohead influence appears to be the guiding light on many tracks on this disc as clean guitar work, electronics, and a notable keyboard presence allows the band to achieve an entirely different sound. As they are now a six member outfit, FBTMOF clearly benefits from the new manpower to provide a fuller overall sound and push their music into areas previously uncharted by the band. Although the FBTMOF of the past still peeks its head out on a few tracks, most notably in "A Gift For Fiction," the majority of The Always Open Mouth is filled with slower, dissonant material juxtaposed with cleaner, progressive indie rock melodies. "...As A Result of Signals Being Crossed" is a clear standout track, as it develops from a piano-based intro into a slow and heavy climax with layered singing and screaming. But this track, along with the majority of the album, also displays the main downfall of the disc: the vocals. FBTMOF uses everything from a wide range of singing and screaming to rhythmic chanting and my absolute least favorite, the squeaky childish singing that appears for brief moments in "Mouth." FBTMOF has always suffered from a lack of quality vocals, and unfortunately, that is one of the few past characteristics that they could not shake off before this album. Some vocals are an improvement, such as the singing in the intro of "Taking Cassandra To The End Of The World Party" and the low Liars-esque singing at moments in "Absolute Past," but as a whole, there are simply too many attempted vocal styles that range from mediocre to flat out annoying to allow this disc to really be an exceptional listen. Bottom Line: I'm actually glad that I had an opportunity to discover what many music fans already have, and what many more won't admit: Fear Before the March of Flames has developed into a fairly impressive heavy music group. The amount of experimentation exhibited on The Always Open Mouth is quite remarkable, especially when compared to their previous musical output. However, the exploration of all the new musical ideas and styles still can't erase the poor vocals that plague this disc. Nevertheless, the combination of the poor vocals and my preconceived bias weren't enough to stop me from enjoying many aspects of The Always Open Mouth.

Comments (37) post new comment
onemeansquid_ 2/13/2007 4:45:36 PM

holy shit this came out forever ago... i enjoyed it though


dvxdv_ 2/13/2007 4:46:02 PM

why is this garbage a 6? 1-2 in my book.


Nick_ 2/13/2007 5:07:13 PM

Yeah, this review got delayed at multiple points along the line. Better late than never?


din_ 2/13/2007 5:19:46 PM

ALWAYS OPEN FOR STICKING A FAT IN c-ck MOUTH


ipaintmycrimes_ 2/13/2007 5:30:06 PM

i actually enjoyed art damage, but this one did nothing for me. good written review though.


KevinArnold_ 2/13/2007 5:46:38 PM

-6/10***


adfs_ 2/13/2007 6:43:48 PM

This band sucks, this album sucks, kill yourself.


boates_ 2/13/2007 6:46:51 PM

I actually have been listening to this band since they started and while i dont think, this album measures up to either of their previous releases, I do like certain qualities of it that were lacking previously, namely the experimentation. I'd say 6/10 is a fair assessment, but I would also say that art damage was an 8/10, it had some really great tracks on it. I also agree, signals being crossed, is easily the best most dynamic song on this album.


m00k_ 2/13/2007 7:18:43 PM

FBTMOF GETS A 6 BUT THE HERC ONLY GETS A 5??


Nick_ 2/13/2007 7:26:48 PM

haha m00k


Nick_ 2/13/2007 7:32:39 PM

PS: m00k, if it wasn't for me, you would have never received that Flee The Seen CD now would you? haha.


james_ 2/13/2007 8:24:13 PM

this is stupid, there's really no reason to hate fear before. they don't play the scenester bullshit and they change with every album.


CuntSnot_ 2/13/2007 8:25:40 PM

always been a guilty pleasure of mine, but I haven't heard this album yet... I like Art Damage...


alexcreate_ 2/13/2007 9:25:18 PM

i like the cd =/


Zack_ 2/13/2007 9:28:57 PM

Love the cd. I think it is absolutely mind blowing, and very powerful. 6/10 is a fair judgement based off of what you wrote about the CD. Personally I'd give it a 8-9-10 though. Keep up the stellar reviews Nick, while I don't always agree with them, I like to hear what you have to say. And admire your writing ability


elliot_ 2/13/2007 10:22:10 PM

only listened to this once, but really wasn't feeling much of it. i understand what they're trying to do....they're just not doing a good job of it. they're writing songs with experimentation but they can't make those experimental parts into anything that a listener should care about.


grudgecityhxc_ 2/13/2007 11:00:12 PM

whats ironic about your comment m00k is that FBTMOF actually has two ex-members of HERC. :)


xtroyx_ 2/13/2007 11:29:26 PM

two words: girls pants.


broccoliismyantidrug_ 2/13/2007 11:34:43 PM

i thought this was one of the best releases of 2006, blew the previous two records away


hxcobd_ 2/14/2007 12:40:42 AM

This album is throwaway garbage compared to Art Damage


Kevin_ 2/14/2007 2:18:36 AM

I feel like I am taking crazy pills. This band is horribly subpar and they are getting so much praise these days. Does anyone else notice that with every release they are genre hopping around what's big. Sass to Tech to Ambience/Post-Rock. f*ck Nick, f*ck everyone who likes these jerks, and f*ck these jerks in general with their pretencious, shitty hometown hero attitudes.


sincerely_deceived_ 2/14/2007 4:22:18 AM

i enjoy this album


anthony_ 2/14/2007 4:20:43 PM

this is the best album i've heard in a while. it's completely progressive in realizing that there's only so far you can go with hardcore. everyone here who just wants to hear unearth and breakdowns, go f*ck yourselves.


what_ 2/14/2007 5:46:46 PM

this band actually got really good. hated the last album, love this one


Dillon_ 2/14/2007 11:42:19 PM

you're an idiot nick. this album is great and their other stuff is complete shit I will agree. But this shit is great.


Cark Hamlet_ 2/15/2007 4:23:41 AM

I wanted to talk shit on Nick for the last review on Herc, but Nick is a hard ass he's a down ass nig


thereapersson_ 2/15/2007 8:19:50 AM

This should have gotten a 7/10, because it's nothing exceptional but at least they are trying something different. The vocals aren't that bad - they're different yes, but i've always liked the approach they have. I actually like how the disc started out with an explosive beginner, tapers down into the middle of the CD, then rockets back up to where the initial sound started to end the album, almost as if coming back around full circle. I think i'm giving this more of a chance because I am intere


Kegger_ 2/16/2007 9:58:38 AM

god damnit nick. 8/10 in my opinion.


anonymous 2/16/2007 11:47:28 AM

Another album that would've gotten at least a 7, if said reviewer was clueless to what band he/she was listening to. But as they did, they surely knew that even though this is a good album, giving a FBTMOF album anything over a 6 would for sure hurt his lambgoat awesomeness, and thus, it gets a 6.


hannah_ 2/17/2007 1:54:43 AM

i agree with this review. nothing too amazing...


7oM_ 2/18/2007 1:22:59 AM

This is basically the momentum destroying equivelant of irony is a dead scene from dillinger. Any song from this album makes the crowd stop moving and yawn


GAYDAR5000_ 2/18/2007 8:09:47 AM

*BEEP*


anonymous 2/18/2007 3:29:14 PM

f*cking amazing disc... too bad this band actually wrote some decent songs and didn't just play generic angry drivel like Architect...listen to this and whatever massachusetts hardcore band you love right now in ten years, I guarantee this will be the more influential album


marcus_ 2/18/2007 3:33:12 PM

"my preconceived bias weren't enough to stop me from enjoying many aspects of The Always Open Mouth." way to be a professional


hitlerwasemo_ 2/20/2007 5:09:00 AM

this album should not have been released under the name fbtmof but as a side project or so. Personally I rate this album as 10/10, as there's lots of dynamics, awesome production and well song writing. Its not the shit you people expect and not what you are used to, maybe try listening with "another ear", if you like well written and well thought of songs, you must appreciate this.


ashley_ 2/20/2007 6:11:32 PM

predictable. boring. overproduced.


anonymous 2/26/2007 2:57:30 AM

its obvious that ashley hasn't listened to the cd if she is calling it boring and predictable