April 26, 2011 - Equal Vision
On their second album (and Equal Vision debut), these baby-faced Pennsylvanian post-hardcore warriors—two members only recently graduated high school—offer a muscular blend of precision drumming, brutal riffing and vocals that bridge the gap between laryngitis and throat cancer. For the most part, they color within the lines of their genre, only occasionally busting loose, like with the surprising (because of its awesomeness) guitar break on “Dreamer.” The acoustic-guitar-driven instrumental “May,” which comes just after the 33-minute disc’s midpoint, is another pleasant surprise. In a few cases, their insistence on mostly stripping their music to its thick-necked core (no pun intended) does the songs a disservice; the chorus of “Dying World” really would have benefited from clean backing vocals. It’ll sound great when the crowd sings along at shows, though. And for the most part, One Reality offers excellent pit fuel, with a few meditative moments that demonstrate an admirable depth that will hopefully continue to grow on future releases.