Formed in 2011 by Josh Meyers with the intention of spreading authentic hope to a lost and hurting generation. They released a demo recording “Out Of The Ordinary”. Then something tragic happened, which I think is very brave and bold of Josh, to be very open about, in their biography that we as reviewers get. Meyers’ wife (now former bassist and vocalist for the band) and long-time friend (now former guitarist) were caught in an affair. Obviously, reconstruction of the band’s line-up, and Josh’s life was essential. (By the way, I am almost taking this literally from their biography because I feel this is too fragile to make errors about in my article. So the next paragraph is also taken directly from their own notes.)
“In the fall of 2012, Meyers began crafting The Theft EP as a cathartic response to the sense of loss and betrayal suffered over the course of the previous year or so. The band leader turned to his Christian faith for comfort and enlightenment, and based the album’s conceptual theme around John 10:10 which reads, “The Thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come so you may have life and have it to the full.” In this passage, he found hope in his hopelessness; peace in the midst of chaos. And through this trial, others, too, would be inspired and changed for good.”
The succes of this EP opened opportunities for the band like playing at the 2013 Vans Warped Tour and opening for bands like For Today, Like Moths To Flames, Eyes Set To Kill, A Skylit Drive, Wolves At The Gate and Project 86 to name a few.
After a challenging few years, they took some time away from performing to focus on writing and firming up the band’s roster. In October 2014, the line-up was stabilized and they hit the studio in early 2015 to record their first full-length album, “Exposures”. Soon after the completion of the album they signed to Nashville’s Voluminous Records. It will be released 30 June 2015.
Concerning all the above, they already have earned my respect. Let’s see if the music does the same for me.
It all begins with emotional/menacing piano and spoken word in ‘5:8’. The lyrics were taken from Ephesians 5:8-14. Then the album kicks in with the title-track ‘Exposures’ which is immediately full of energy but also has a bridge with a nice bass-line. Clean vocals are what we are used to these days in hard/metalcore, a little bit boy band like but not in a negative way, it is well done and very catchy.
‘Treasure’ has some interesting guitar Lines and it is in this song where hardcore meets rock. It is a song full of surprises. Everytime I think I get the song figured out they go in a different direction.
The song ‘Second Chance’ has the typical breakdowns but again also some interresting alternations.
The album goes on with the same musical concept, some parts are generic but it never gets boring although it is not new. But hey, what is new nowadays?
‘Proverbs 7’ starts with rock & roll like AC/DC and it is in this song where they remind me a bit of The Ongoing Concept who also tend to use some rock influences in their music. But then again, when the song continues they are going in another more heavy direction.
And if we are going to compare them with other bands I also want to mention the sound of the screams of Josh. The thing is, that his screams remind me of a Dutch metalcore band “The Charm The Fury”. Funny fact is, that the vocalist of The Charm The Fury is a woman. But than again, Caroline screams like a man so this is no insult at all but rather a compliment because I love her voice.
‘Hope In The Storm’ is about finding hope in hopelessness and we have here also a catchy chorus and some beautiful melodic guitar lines. And the double bass at the end of the bridge is just awesome.
Last song ‘With You’ is more of a sensitive ballad which begins with piano and a lot of goosebumps at my side. This song is about stuggling with trying and failing and with doubt. But the message is, what I think, giving up your trying and just trust the Lord who’s words are spoken at the end of the song:
“This web that you weave
This hope that’s been believed
Trust me! Trust Me! Trust Me!
You will do what I called you to.”
I love the message in this song personally. As a matter of fact, this goes for the lyrics on the whole album. These are not empty words but they come from experience, so these are no hollow words.
All in all again an album that has no total new concept but is executed very well. I love their passion and their boldness. Just cut the crap, they say what they stand for and they have a message of hope. If you are a believer or not, it earns your respect. Musically we hear some original parts, so check them out if you are into hard/metalcore. They are worth it!
Written by: René Woning
4. Second Chance
5. Self Portrait
6. Proverbs 7
8. In Omnia Paratus
9. Hope In The Storm
10. With You
Josh Meyers: Vocals
Brian Elliott: Vocals/Guitar
Jason Law: Guitar
Andy Davis: Bass
Kyle Zahorski: Drums
“The Theft” EP (2012)
Record label: Voluminous Records, June 2015
Video below: ‘Self Portrait’