The Plot In You – Could You Watch Your Children Burn
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: January 15th, 2013
I don’t listen to metalcore and post-hardcore anymore, but I do make some exceptions now and again. One band that I discovered before I really stopped listening to the genres were Ohio metalcore band The Plot In You. The band was created by former vocalist/guitarist Landon Tewers from the post-hardcore band Before Their Eyes (whom I used to be a huge fan of, actually), and that’s where my interest for the band began. In 2011, the band released their debut record First Born, and immediately, I was rather put off by how different it was from anything Before Their Eyes came out with; the record was very angry, bitter, aggressive, and just downright ferocious. The problems I had with the record were the lyrics mainly; Before Their Eyes used to be a Christian band, and while I’m not sure if they still are, their lyrics were never obscene or graphic. Well, the lyrics on First Born are certainly both of those things. Some people certainly enjoy that, but I really don’t, in all honesty. They weren’t terrible lyrics, but they didn’t do anything for me. They were just so spiteful, and angry, it was really hard for me to find anything to take from them. That leads me to the other problem I had with the record – the lack of lasting value. The backing instrumentation was something to bat an eye at, but it was lacking in plenty of places. It seemed to adhere to the general clichés of metalcore, meaning plenty of breakdowns and really nothing else. Sophmore record Could You Watch Your Children Burn does feature a lot of breakdowns, but there’s a lot more to take from this record than one would think. Landon Tewers is back, but with a vengeance, and surprisingly, I enjoy this record quite a bit. There are a few things I don’t enjoy, but I’ll get to those things soon. The main thing, however, are the lyrics again; they’re still just an angry and bitter, if not more so. We got it, Landon, you’re angry about stuff, there’s no need for mindless obscenities constantly. And there are plenty of instances that do make me just scratch my head, because I can’t believe he just said that. Well, there are other moments on this record that make me scratch my head as well, but again, I’ll get to those later.
The record begins with “Premeditated,” and it starts off with some strange noises, but then suddenly jumps into a very aggressive guitar riff and Tewers screaming with a ferocity not seen on First Born; it’s a very nice way to start off the record, and this song itself is a very interesting song. It shows off their new style, but does adhere to a couple of clichés, mainly a huge one – screamed verse, and clean chorus. So many bands use this, and well, sadly, this record is plagued with this as well. It’s not their fault, since there’s not much else to do, but that’s just a slight nitpick, I suppose. Tewers’ cleans vocals are not half bad, actually; they’re not the best in the genre, but they’re certainly above average as well. Aside from that, this song has some very decent lyrics that don’t come across as very hateful and bitter, so this is one track that I don’t have a problem with lyrically. In fact, it’s a nice way to start off the record. Second track “Fiction Religion” continues the album on a good note, thankfully, and this is one of my favorite tracks, actually. The thing is, though, this song kind of does sound like the first track, and that’s another problem I have with this record – it doesn’t tend to run together sometimes. There are a few moments here and there that stand out, but a lot of the breakdowns and whatnot sound rather recycled. There are little flourishes of potential here and there, but they are rather few and far between. However, “Fiction Religion” does feature a really cool spoken word quote by someone towards the end, and actually, a few more of those show up throughout the album.
As the album goes on, it’s quite enjoyable, but not too many songs really stick out, sadly. A lot of the songs just kind of run together, despite having very solid instrumentation. In fact, third track “Digging Your Grave” starts off with a really cool guitar riff, and has a really interesting guitar riff throughout the whole song. Lyrically, it’s rather angry, and Tewers vocals really reflect that, specifically these lyrics in the bridge: “One by one, I will tear your limbs apart / And to your friends / F**k, f**k them all / F**k you all / You worthless slime / F**k you all.” In the words of Ron Burgandy, “Boy, that escalated quickly.” If you thought that was angry, the next track is even angrier. I won’t even repeat the lyrics, because they’re definitely something. Sadly, a lot of the lyrics on this record are like that, and as I mentioned earlier, that’s a huge problem for me. One or two songs like that, I wouldn’t mind, but we already got a lot of this on First Born, so if they’re redoing something, it’s the lyrics. While the instrumentation is extremely solid most of the time, it’s the lyrics that are a hindrance to me, really. As I mentioned, though, there are some very interesting moments here and there in terms of the instrumentals, such as in the middle of sixth track “The Devil’s Contract,” there’s a really interesting vocal delivery from Tewers as he screams over a really strange and eerie guitar riff. Right after that, the next track “Shyann Weeps” starts off with Tewers essentially describing a murder scene; it’s a very weird part that really makes me scratch my head, in all honesty.
The only song that really “stands out” to me on the record is last song, “Glad You’re Gone.” This song stands out for a couple reasons; it features mainly clean vocals and the lyrics are actually decent. Well, no, the lyrics are decent throughout the whole record, but this is the least “angry” song on it. And I like how the record does end on a rather somber note, instead of bitter and angry. The album as a whole is basically that – angry. If you’re in the mood for angry and ferocious metalcore, look no further than this record. While I don’t care for a majority of the lyrics, the instrumentation alone is enough to keep my interest because it does go a step further from the typical metalcore bands of today. Vocalist Landon Tewers also has a very great voice, well, in terms of screams. His clean vocals are okay, but not the best I’ve ever heard. Either way, this record could possibly be the record that gets The Plot In You the recognition they deserve.
I'm still really confused as to how this band was created by someone who was a self-confessed Christian. I wonder what cause that change. That being said, I just couldn't get past the overly aggressive, and downright hateful, lyrics. I feel like they are only trying to set themselves apart from other bands by going for the "shock factor." You have the right to believe what you want, but this kind of malice is just unnecessary and frustrating.