A Bullet for Pretty Boy - Beauty Is in the Eyes of the Beholder
Record Label: Artery Recordings
Release Date: May, 2008
As soon as I heard ABFPB, I wanted to write them off; write them off as just another Christian-Metalcore band trying to make music that no one will care about. I listened to a song, and it seemed to be the same, "oh, whatever. They're touring with a band that's actually good, so I guess they're OKAY." But then I dug a little deeper, past the genre cliches of violent song names and a band with a title that has to reference something brutal sounding, and I found Beauty In They Eyes Of The Beholder, and I found something I rather liked. But the question is, will you like it?
The second I started the first track ("Dial M For Murder"), I had to flip back to my iTunes and double check I wasn't listening to a song off of Vanna's A New Hope. The similarities are huge. Guttural, yet still clear growls and screeches pave the way, along with some fancy guitar work. The fast paced, but clear screaming and music style really hooked me in. The sound is very interesting, although not entirely original. It lacks the bone-crushing breakdowns and heavy drumming and guitar work of heavier Metalcore bands, such as August Burns Red or Mychildren Mybride, but also they lack the genre defining clarity and pop-ish sound of Underoath's older albums.
As the EP goes on, it see's some ups, and some downs. Lyrically, it's rather good. The songs relay a sort of honest desperation, that goes along with what they believe in very note. The message is clearly relayed, such as in the final track ("Beauty In The Eyes Of The Beholder"), who opens with "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God where do I run? Your message holds true though we fall short." Other songs give the desperation most Christian-Metalcore bands have their own fire, with lines like, "The chance is as thin as the air that I breathe, is this my last chance? Is this my only chance?" ("Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica") Overall, they have the right amount of emotion and reason, that is very rarely over done.
There are however, a few problems that hold this EP back. Although these Longview, Texas head-bangers know how to work their instruments, the producer and mixer didnt really know what they were doing. Some of the vocals seemed subdued, but not because the lead can't keep up, but because the production team seemed to have intentionally subdued them on tracks like "Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica" and "Dial M For Murder". Also, some of the instrumental works has some buzzing and other technical issues. Another up and down are the clean vocals, which at times can be fantastic ("The Hope I Confide In"), (Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica") and at others can be rather weak and average sounding ("Dial M For Murder"), ("This Is My Pale Horse") or, they can be a mixed bag ("Beauty In The Eyes Of The Beholder"). The last issue, which although not huge, just rather odd, is the inclusion of a one minuet and twenty eight second instrumental track ("And Still You Choose Surrender") on a six track, eighteen minuet EP. Like really, what the hell? We don't won't filler regularly, so why would we want something that already has little content, with even less?
All in all, ABFPB's debut EP is pretty good. The lyrics are strong, the instruments good, the screaming fantastic, and the clean vocals okay. It maybe short, especially because of the filler instrumental track (Like really, come on), and the production values iffy. They don't bring anything new to the table, they won't change the Metalcore genre for anybody, they're just a group of guys making good, if not so unique, music. And there's nothing (well not really), wrong with that.
1. "Dial M For Murder"
2. "Bears, Beets, And Battlestar Galactica"
3. "The Hope I Confide In:
5. "And Still You Choose Surrender"
6. 'Beauty In The Eyes Of The Beholder"
[fs=Recommended If You Like]Vanna; Our Last Night; Like Moths To Flames; Agraceful; Old Emarosa; Underoath; Christian Metalcore of any kind;