Columbus natives Beartooth are back in 2016 with a brand new album, Aggressive. The follow up to Disgusting released in 2014, Aggressive is a less angry but still as powerful Beartooth.
Opener and title track, Aggressive is huge. The melodic chorus twinned with the lively guitars and gang vocals increases the overall dynamic of the track. You’re never too far away from a catchy lyric with this band and the choral chant of “lost aggressive youth” is no different. Beartooth seem less angry than previous offering Disgusting, but they sound more than ready to take on the world with Aggressive. Second track Hated is a little tamer than the opener however, the call and response between frontman Caleb Shomo and the guitar is intriguing. Loser is again more melodic than previously released Beartooth tracks but still packs a mean punch.
Fair Weather Friend is no doubt an absolute anthem, another classic Beartooth track with a chorus line that you’d be hard pushed to ignore. It is one of the standout tracks on the album, breakdowns as heavy as you like that invite head bangers and mosh pitters alike to lose their shit. Burnout is fast paced and ferocious, while Sick Of Me crosses genres; there are elements from a pop-punk song but with the vocal of a post-hardcore track. Censored is 3 minutes and 36 seconds of straight up hardcore punk whilst Always Dead is a track just over two minutes long that immediately smacks you in the face with riffs and visceral vocals.
The final two tracks: Rock Is Dead and King Of Anything are highlights. Even the fact that the title is Rock Is Dead is ironic because the whole track is an example of why rock and roll is in fact, not dead. “If rock and roll’s dead you’d have to kill me right now”. Don’t worry Caleb, you’re safe. King Of Anything is raw with honest vocals, and there is a huge depth to the track.
This album is most definitely a progression on from Disgusting, rather than just a do-over as so many bands try to get away with; now Beartooth are less angry but nowhere near soft. The lyrics and melody lines are mature, the choruses still catchy and the breakdowns still definitely as heavy as they’ve ever been. Beartooth aren’t slowing down anytime soon, so the difficult second album? Not here.
Aggressive is released tomorrow June 3rd via Red Bull Records. The band also play Download Festival on Saturday June 11 on The Lemmy Stage.