Speaking in Shadows - The Lies We Lead
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Record Label: Unsigned
“Technicolour Trainwreck” seemed to get pretty good reception when we premiered it last month. It’s easy to see why: the song’s got a larger-than-life chorus, a strong Jeff Caudill like vocal performance, and an infectious opening riff. Unfortunately, it’s far and away the best song on The Lies We Lead, and Speaking in Shadows just can’t deliver on the promise of this single.
The first song on the EP is “Splinters,” which sets the band up for an auspicious start. Its chorus is just as radio-ready as “Trainwreck”s, and it’s an easy vocal highlight. The bridge of the track falters a bit, featuring a ridiculous, if mercifully short, breakdown. “Technicolour Trainwreck” follows, and you’ve just heard the two best songs on The Lies We Lead.
“Misled Soldiers” isn’t necessarily a bad song, but it features the worst lyrics on the album. It’s got a political message, as the title betrays, but it comes off as a bit heavy-handed:
The truth is extinct / all we have left are
Phantoms in the mist / we’re swathed inside a
Fog of misbelief / where politicians teach our
Children to deceive / propagating war
But I can deal with that. It’s the song’s bridge that brings it down, with a corny spoken word part seguing into metalcore growls. The vocals in “Breaking Silence” can again be likened to those of Gameface’s Jeff Caudill. It’s another good song, with a massive chorus, ruined by a laughably dramatic bridge, this time of unintelligible overlapped whispers.
The final third of the EP is where things really fall apart. The penultimate track “Moths” is, almost entirely, acoustic. I hardly like acoustic songs to begin, and this does little to change my opinion. Even when the full band kicks in, the song goes nowhere and is wholly unremarkable. It seems to serve more as a bridge from the first four tracks to the title song. “The Lies We Lead,” for a title track, could barely sound more out-of-place. It’s still got the cheesy “inspirational” lyrics, yes, but its hook is bouncy in a way that’s completely inappropriate in the context of the album. There’s an impressive build in the second verse, but it still sounds disjointed coming off the verse it does and leading into a refrain of “Take off your clothes tonight/and come dance with me/take down your walls tonight/and let the whole world see.” It’s an unfortunate end to the EP, but then again, it’s really a rather unfortunate EP. It starts out strong, but it’s weighed down by its absurd lyrics, directionless writing, and self-indulgence.