Everything We Left Behind - Our Ears are Bleeding
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: October 3, 2011
This album is fast. This album is catchy. This album is very good. This album is one you should listen to.
And in the unlikely event that those simplistic statements haven’t satiated your appetite for knowledge about this album, then let me tell you that Our Ears Are Bleeding is the latest release from the United Kingdom’s Everything We Left Behind. It’s an exciting adventure of speedy melodic punk anthems that highlight a band with great potential, as well as a band that already has great talent.
"Generica" is straight out of the blocks to set the benchmark for the rest of the album. Thematically focusing on the absence of originality in much music today, fittingly it is not structurally or sonically predictable. The song’s powerful chorus lays a claim to being the album’s strongest, but what about the emotive "Great White Buffalo"? What about the melancholic "Pull Back and Go"? Indeed, what about "A Place Called Nowhere?" Its majestic though clichéd refrain of ‘We all live in a place/A place called nowhere’ is nothing that hasn’t been said before, but when it is performed with such alacrity why be averse to hearing it again?
Variation is a strange beast. A band ultimately has two options; think outside the musical box and either be lauded as pioneers or incur the wrath of alienated fans, or remain consistent throughout a record, and risk being labelled one trick ponies or receive acclaim for doing what they’re good at. And now that unnecessarily lengthy sentence is over, I can tell you that Everything We Left Behind fit nicely into the last category. Sure, every song is a high-octane melodic punk song, but importantly every song is a good high-octane melodic punk song. Acoustic ballads are not to be found here.
That is not to say that EWLB couldn’t pull off an acoustic ballad, with the type of throaty melodious vocals that transcends genres. Ably supported by lively guitars and pounding percussion that cope with the maintenance of high tempos, it is obvious that this band is a cohesive unit. Although there is something of a tendency in a handful of songs to meander aimlessly for brief spells, for the most part Our Ears Are Bleeding is direct and purposeful, and rather smile-inducing.
I hear The Flatliners circa The Great Awake. I hear early Blink-182. I hear NOFX. Ye of little faith are probably cynically thinking ‘oh terrific, another album that is a mere carbon copy of its influences’. But no! Why would you think that? Why would you? There is sufficient guile and creativity to elevate Our Ears Are Bleeding above this fallacy. Just take the shredding solos in "Guillotine" and "Generica", or the impassioned climax and rolling drums in the standout "Repeating". Everything We Left Behind have given us 11 tracks of consistency, quality and sheer enjoyment.
Their ears might be bleeding, but everyone else’s will be all the better for hearing this album.