As debut albums go, Thousand Below‘s really packs a punch. What is most impressive about this record is that it fits in with the ever-growing, popular genre that is post-hardcore, yet it still feels fresh, enticing, and fun. For a band that only formed a year ago, to create an album like ‘The Love You Let Too Close’ is really quite brilliant.
Firstly, ‘Sinking Me’ is a hell of an opener. It smashes through any preconceptions, if any, that this album wasn’t going to bang. It’s the perfect introduction to just what frontman James DeBerg‘s vocals are capable of; Easing in and out of high, soaring melodies to chesty, weighty growls. It’s always a good sign when a band knows how to start an album properly, and this song destroys.
Single ‘Tradition’ was released in January upon the band’s announcement that they were signing to label, Rise Records. The track is one of the album’s best pieces. It’s classic post-hardcore with its hooky choruses, choppy breakdowns, and in-your-face aggressive guitars.
‘Sleepless’ is another single which really grabs your attention. With its smooth, transcending, soft opening, you’d be tricked into thinking that you’d be getting a break from the indulgent heaviness on this record. However, thankfully, this song is another solid head banger. As soon as the first chorus kicks on, you’re aware of that fact. The verses sound punk-inspired, driven by DeBerg‘s harsh screams countered by clean guitar and a half-time beat.
The title-track carries with it the tag of being one of the heaviest tracks on the album. Yet, despite this, the band are also able to create a calm, soothing clean sound which breaks up their tracks occasionally where other bands may choose to put a breakdown. It’s obviously not completely an original concept, but done right it’s seriously effective, and makes the listener appreciate the heavier parts of the record a lot more. DeBerg‘s lyricism shines bright on this track, almost poetically, as he barks “You couldn’t bury the pain / Instead it buried you”, describing the loss of a loved one. You can hear the sincerity and passion in his voice.
‘Follow Me Home’ wins the award for the coolest intro to a song on the record. Deep, echoing chorus filled guitars ooze in like something of an early Bullet For My Valentine track, before the post-hardcore punch breaks in.
It’s hard to find bands that can re-invent and refresh popular genres, but Thousand Below have definitely done that on ‘The Love You Let Too Close’. They’ve still kept the breakdowns, the hooks, and the heaviness, but have added a softer, cleaner element when necessary. Most importantly, is that this album is fun throughout. As debut albums go, it’s hard to think of how they could’ve done any better. It’s that good.
Written by Dylan Tuck (@dylankightuck)