Chug, chug, chug, chorus, repeat. I think I’m ready to start a metalcore band. At least that’s the formula that is applied to almost every band in the genre nowadays, and the same goes for Ohio’s Like Moths To Flames. Their debut album, ‘When We Don’t Exist’ is a bass heavy, powerful chug fest. Without so much as an original idea to their name, the band set about battering their way through 11 tracks of what is actually reasonably well pulled-off metalcore.
Whilst they tick every cliché (breakdowns, devastating growled vocals, pretty unimaginative lyrics and clean singing thrown in for good measure), they actually pull it off to a standard that is pretty listenable. If you are a fan of My Ticket Home, Attack Attack! or The Plot In You then you’re bound to get off on this as it’s in a similar sort of vein. Songs like ‘GNF’, which judging by the lyrical content I would assume stands for “give no fucks”, is perhaps the best example of the band destroying everything in their path. Whilst there is nothing new brought to the table, it surely doesn’t fail to deliver one of hell of a knockout blow. The rumble of ‘Your Existence’ threatens to blow the bass on my speakers as it bursts through 3 minutes of face pummelling breakdowns – if you want heavy, this is where it’s at.
The band can also do more than just write breakdowns, there are a few melodic tunes here and there (and I’m not talking any of that pretty boy acoustic shit, just some well executed choruses). Lead single ‘You Won’t Be Missed’ is as equally heavy as it is melodic, and frankly it’s quite a refreshing number too. The slightly slower ‘No Hope’ is also a decent example of the band pulling off melodic, until they throw in a crushing breakdown for good measure. Towards the end of the album and final songs like the forgettable ‘Real Talk’ or the jumpy ‘Praise Feeder’, it all does become slightly boring and signals that the album should be brought to a close, which in fairness (unless you have the extended edition) it is.
For someone who is somewhat sceptical about the majority of metalcore that makes its way out of America these days, I would say that this is fairly good. It definitely packs all the better elements of the genre into a neat bundle that even your grandmother can get on with. It’s well executed, a bit plain, but generally far from boring. Even if metalcore isn’t your game you should give this a go. Who knows? You might be like me and discover a new band that you actually quite like.
Written by Oliver Thompson