In a world seemingly dominated by pop metal (which I have gone on record as liking as well) from the likes of Three Days Grace, Nickelback and Hedley, it makes me all warm inside to hear a band that can really rip and make some great thought-provoking music.
At first listen it's not completely original, and I immediately think of Avenged Sevenfold, Panic! at the Disco, and Alexisonfire, but as i dig deeper I find PtH has created something I have a hard time saying I've heard before. I feel like one of those wine snobs as I listen to the album (again and again and again) ..... I hear a hint of Yngwie Malmsteen, with a precocious smattering of Iron Maiden, a little Testament, with a whisper of King Diamond.
The pigeonholers seem to have a hard time pigeonholing this type of music. Is it metal, punk, screamo, emo, what is it? I guess "metal" today is the brutal gutteral beating put out by Children of Bodom and the like. Nope, PtH won't fit in that niche. Punk is easier to define as it hasn't changed a lot in the last 30 years. Quite obviously PtH doesn't belong there. I guess screamo and emo are close. I consider PtH Good Music. Plain and simple, 'aint it?
As evidenced in a blog entry, the band seems to feel this classification problem depending who they are touring with:
On a "metal" tour we are a pussy little emo band, and on an "emo" tour we are a heavy fucking metal band....
As far as music that's great to put on and rock out to, Kezia is fantastic. The real surprise comes when you pay attention to the lyrics and descend into the "concept." Kezia - sentenced to die, the priest and the prison guard/executioner all get equal billing on this dark journey.
One of the most surpsising moments comes at 4:20 into "Blindfolds Aside." The acoustic interlude is spellbinding.
Sin I didn't care for, but a sin that paid my debts
A sin that fed my children and burned my smiles and cigarettes
"The Soonest to the Sea," with its message about the position of women in our society, left me sitting and thinking for quite a while afterward.
So when you bled on the bed as you fed those expectations as a whore and not a human
You embraced with hesitation the very parameters of all you can be
Not a mother, not an aunt, not a sister that's not subdued
Because dignity's not physical and your flesh means more than you
and the outro/chorus:
Maybe someday when, when this bloody skull has dried
Know our city is in ruins when our greatest source of pride,
A monument of dicks and ribs and the gender crown we wore
Where underneath, a plaque will read, a plaque will read, No woman is a whore
Incredible musicianship, phenomenal vocals, and intelligent lyrics from a bunch of teenagers. Buy this album.
It looks like I'll be covering their December 9th show in Toronto. Keep an eye out for a review and photos soon after.