Fear Before – Fear Before

Band: Fear Before
Album: Fear Before
Label: Equal Vision
Genre: Rock

1. Treeman
2. I’m Fine Today
3. Fear Before Doesn’t Listen To People Who Don’t Like Them
4. Get Your Life Together
5. Jabberwocky
6. Everything’s Not Shitty
7. Tycho
8. Bad Days
9. Stay Weird
10. Review Our Lives (Epic)

Hey, who’s this Fear Before band that sounds just like Fear before the March of Flames? Ok, so I guess it’s not that mysterious. The experimental band shortened their name this past fall and followed up with their self titled album, their fourth LP. The band’s Myspace page title proclaims “FEAR BEFORE stays weird…shouldn’t you?” Other than a reference to their current tour and the ninth track on Fear Before, “Stay Weird,” I interpret the band’s potential slogan as proof for continuing their new experimental style as introduced on The Always Open Mouth.

Fear Before’s general style is about as hard to describe as it was to try to get a free Dr. Pepper code as a result of the Guns N’ Roses new album release. (Epic fail, by the way) Mixing elements of hardcore screams with alternative rock as well as ambient, clean guitar parts is only part of the deal. Strange song structures as well as a mixture of vocal styles also play into effect.

The variety of vocals, as well as guest vocalists on the album is definitely a highlight, as well as the eccentric lyrics. Usually individual lyrics don’t stick out to me as much as the music, but you really can’t help that on this album. In the triumphant starter, “Treeman,” you’ll run across lines like “There’s nothing stranger, than a stranger, strangely stranger, than a stranger.” Besides the odd lyrics, the mix of vocals between the two leads, Adam Fisher and David Marion, brings diversity to the overall sound and provides ample layers to cipher through while listening. The vocals will whine and tear, or grind away with a harsh roar. My favorite is the seemingly obnoxious “talking” yells, listen for it during the main chorus of “Treeman,” (“Just the same, but different, but still the same kid!”) or one of my other favorites, “Get Your Life Together,” during the muffled drum intro (“We’re up on our hind legs, on top of the food chain”). I don’t notice the guest vocals as much, with members from the Fall of Troy and Portugal the Man popping up around different places around the album.

Despite having less songs and new members different from the lineup from Mouth, Fear Before essentially does more with less, making each and every song memorable. The band has the ability to get in your head with their haunting approach to music, to the point where you might not remember the song title but upon hearing the intro to the song you will instantly recollect what you will hear. As soon as you hear the beginning to “Everything’s Not Shitty,” you’ll remember the robot like-effects on the vocals that occur halfway through the song. You’ll recall the lyrics “This time! We’re taking over!” at the Circa Survive-sounding intro to “Stay Weird.” The band has a crazy ability to stick their catchy and random hooks into your head no matter how many times you listen.

Fear Before is one of those bands that you just can’t stay away from. Creepy and weird, (like a stalker) you will find yourself drawn to their guitar melodies and assortment of vocals, that when you put all together, complement each other and match up well, in that dysfunctional sort of way. Fear Before has the ability to draw you in like your guilty pleasure pop band, but in a much more different, experimental, and unique sort of way. Give this band a listen. You could become a fan for life.

Rating: 8.5/10

Written by: Jacob Kanclerz

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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