It could be worth mentioning that I've never been the biggest worshipper of Underoath. I jammed Define The Great Line and Lost In The Sound Of Separation a bit back in my day but never really considered myself a devout fan. Despite this, the announcement of their reunion in addition to a new album got me excited.
Even though my ears are not the most attuned to Underoath's sound, the thing that's perhaps most immediately noticeable about Erase Me is that it has a much heavier leaning on traditional pop songwriting structures, meaning most songs will tread similar ground within their individual framework, which can be both a blessing and a curse.
The chorus of 'On My Teeth' is a short but sweet earworm that, paired with a barrage of down-tuned guitar riffs are sure to become a new live staple. Comparatively, however, the pop-rock saturated chorus of 'ihateit', while tricky to omit on first listen, does leave a little to be desired.
There's nothing wrong with the band's sonic pivot, but it's hard not to feel like it's to the record's detriment somewhat. 'Rapture' has all the workings of a chorus that slowly builds momentum for a satisfying payoff that doesn't quite hit the mark and sounds watered down as a result. Most of the heavy moments on the album are subsidized by more melodic ones in addition to sprinklings of post-hardcore and electronica.
Because of this, it's a good thing Spencer Chamberlain and Aaron Gillespie have such winning creative chemistry, dripping confidence in their chorus and hook work because a lot of them do kick pretty hard, the problem being when the chorus itself becomes the focal point of the song.
'Bloodlust' has a chorus that kind of just meanders without really elevating the track up a notch yet 'Hold Your Breath' may very well be the album highlight, boasting a hook that flows with the momentum of the song before neatly segueing into heavier bridges and verses. The difference here is that the latter sounds far more organic within the confines of the song itself, instead of sounding overly reliant on a pre-disposed chorus to glue the track together.
Veterans might be let down by the band's decision to embrace some more drastic pop sensibilities and that after 8 years of patiently awaiting a new album, they could be understandably disappointed by the finished product. There are some very valuable songs on here that are sure to become in heavy rotation alongside the rest of Underoath's catalogue and while Erase Me understandably maybe doesn't quite live up to the hype, it, by all means, is still a fine metalcore record.
Dre’s Top Three:
- On My Teeth
- Sink With You
- Hold Your Breath
Psst? Want to stock up on some Underoath gear? You're already in the right place.