Short and to the point, Counterparts latest LP hits hard and fast with not a single wasted minute, and comes highly recommended for anyone seeking a healthy dose of melodic hardcore.
With a title like You’re Not You Anymore in addition to a recent number of key member changes, one would assume a lot of musical and thematic differences taking place within the Ontario-based quintet’s fifth full-length record. Surprisingly enough, not only does it sound like a logical next step for the band, vocalist Brendan Murphy describes the album as being a “perfect blend of every record we’ve released prior”.
Despite being their shortest record to date clocking in at 28 minutes, brevity works in its favour, and with the exception of the opening instrumental the album hits hard and fast and doesn’t really let up its entire time. The eponymous closer is the longest on record, just scraping under four minutes runtime.
Murphy’s lyrics are less bitter this time around yet still a purveyor of a certain brutal honest poetry, with many a track harbouring a line that’s bound to stick with the listener.
“My disease is a sanctuary. A curse that unfolds like a novel, but I'd sooner slit my wrists with the first page. I find it hard to feel alive, while my heart beats in borrowed time.”
Furthermore, there’s a noticeable increase in chorus and hook work this time around, lending tracks like ‘Haunt Me’ and ‘Swim Beneath My Skin’ an aggressive melody that help make the songs a stand-out. Comparatively, ‘Thieves’ and ‘Rope’, while the two shortest tracks, remain some of the albums bulkiest cuts, opting for unrelenting heaviness and devastating breakdowns, showcasing some of Murphy’s most vicious, filthy vocals.
A tiny gripe would be held towards intro track ‘Walk Away Slowly’ which doesn’t detract from the album by any means, but doesn’t necessarily add anything either, outside of segueing into devastating opener, ‘Bouquet’. It certainly fulfils its purpose, but does give off the impression that it could have been expanded upon somewhat.
Admittedly, I’ve got quite a notable history with Counterparts, with Brendan Murphy’s lyrical content often mirroring that of my own life upon time of release. Such is, I tend to lower my expectations for any of Counterparts pending releases with the often short-sighted expectation that surely they can’t top themselves - not when their current LP hits the nail so squarely on the head. Suffice to say, I remain proven wrong every time.
Dre’s Top Three:
- Arms Like Teeth
- Haunt Me
- Fragile Limbs
You can pick up your copy of You’re Not You Anymore on CD or Vinyl here.