You're Not You Anymore - Counterparts
Album: You're Not You Anymore
Genre: Melodic Hardcore Review by Steve Jenkins
Canadian melodic hardcore outfit, Counterparts, have released their fifth album titled You're Not You Anymore and it is a culmination of beauty and anger. With displays of their trademark hardcore sound and deep, meaningful lyrics accompanied by melody and memorable guitar work.
Tracks like "Bouquet", "Rope" and "Arms Like Teeth" display some of the tightest and most surgically precise song writing the band has ever put forth, with the latter track propelling itself in contention with arguably the most melodic and musically sound guitar riffs on the album, that build to a stunning climax. The album is short and sweet, just falling short of the half an hour mark, so there's no filler and there are no palate cleansers. It's absolutely unrelenting from beginning to end and gives out a steady supply of meteorically heavy breakdowns, memorable lead riffs, frenzied vocal passages and appropriately anthem-like choruses. "No Servant of Mine" and "Haunt Me" walk an impressive line between the tried-and-true melodic hardcore leanings of older work such as The Current Will Carry Us while seemingly increasing the intensity even more, with the former track smacking the listener over the head with an absolutely massive chorus and playfully well placed pinch harmonics.
Breakdowns are also fairly plentiful and hinted at with elongated build-ups, with "Rope" arguably stealing the show during the tail-end of the track. "Hope is a blade that bears my name, // I knew your rope was made for me", Brendan emotes furiously before the clash of buzz saw chugs and newcomer Kyle Brownlee's double-bass drum crunch collide for a mosh-worthy explosion. However, it's the melodic moments that imbue the album with substance; "Fragile Limbs" and "A Memory Misread" favours catchy ‒ and to some extent, sung ‒ choruses over typical metal and hardcore riffage. I'm particularly fond of the surprisingly ear-grabbing hook of "A Memory Misread", which reads "I am a farewell that even heaven won't accept // Collecting scars like souvenirs of pasts we can't forget". Brendan's brand of 'poetic hardcore' is every bit as impressive here as it has been in the past and is delivered in expectedly brilliant fashion, with raw, crestfallen screams that guide each song forward without hindrance.
There really isn't a single bad song on You're Not You Anymore, which winds up being a reaffirmation of brilliance for a band that has never failed to impress with each consecutive album release, which manages to keep fans happy. It's a great imitation to what has come before, while trimming away all of the unnecessary fat for a tight, coherent and utterly focused melodic hardcore record that will have you coming back for more, and cements itself as one of the genre's best offerings this year. It's emotionally intriguing, and whilst it might not click with everyone, it's a damn good album full of energy and importance.
4 out of 5.
You're Not You Anymore is out now via Pure Noise Records.
Listen to the track "Swim Beneath My Skin" below: