With a new direction of sorts to their songwriting and sound, Canadian melodic hardcore band Liferuiner return with second album “Future Revisionists”. It is a release which sees the band utilising a more melodic intent to their still caustic presence and challenging aggression as well as a mutually uplifting sense of hope to their lyrical provocation. It is also an album which leaves a strong unsatisfied feeling in its wake. Certainly there are moments which ignite the senses but equally they are tempered by more uninspiring and uneventful periods which balance things out into a release which is more than just OK but a lost opportunity, especially when compared to releases and music from emerging hardcore bands such as Gacy’s Threads and Lantern For A Gale.
Released through Transcend Music in Europe and InVogue Records in North America, the ten track release makes a decent enough if slightly unconvincing start with ‘Vacant’, the song gently rubbing the ear with restrained guitar coaxes initially. Into this evocative mix the caustic tones of last remaining band founder and vocalist Jonny O’Callaghan offer a squalling abrasive persuasion. His tones as we have come to know are uncompromising and honest in raw sound and expression. Unfortunately, with the evolution in the music to encompass at times riveting melodic temptation and equally enticing grooves, the lack of variation he shows across the album does not make an easy fit. Certainly you would not wish especially clean vocals to make an appearance but some variation to his delivery might have brought to life some of the less impacting and predictable tracks.
The short, as are the majority of songs, opener makes way for one of the highlights of the release in the impressive ‘Waivered Lives’. With a deep predacious tone to the bass and crisp rhythms skirted by a delicious metallic groove, the song has a potent call similar to recently disbanded Dead Til Friday whilst still bruising with an appetising hardcore protestation. It is an excellent track which leaps above all others with ease, the clear melodic aside midway which is accompanied only by the gruff bass call and a more distant vocal intensity, an added treat to the imaginative enterprise displayed. If the majority of tracks were built and as inventive as this we might be calling “Future Revisionists” a classic.
Both the following ‘Savages’ and ‘Feeling/Meaning’ fall beneath the new standard though equally they ensure attention is still only the possession of the release, the second of the pair especially gripping the neck of focus with ease as further grooves with more than an air of rapaciousness to their persuasive hooks break out. There is hope inspired from the two that there is a rise in the adventure of the album, a thought even more convincing when ‘C.O.P.E.’ exploits the senses with a fiery fury of voracious riffs and commanding rhythms ridden by strong group shouts in the chorus. There is a familiarity to it when offers questions but with its blaze of passion spawned anthemic tempting it has a strong appeal.
Further highlights come with both the ravenous and exploratory ‘Despair’ and the fascinating ‘Dreamcatcher’, the first twisting its body into a series of inventive and riveting adventures fusing metal and hardcore essences into something fresh and intriguing whilst the second, and current single, merges a djent tinged fist of groove provocation with a metalcore breath all wrapped in a sonically melodic flame of passion fuelled might. The track is outstanding, an encounter which along with some of the other highlighted songs suggests on this path of evolution Liferuiner are going to break the mould completely and create a major impacting release in the future. Sadly with just as many more than average songs as ones to exalt over, this is not it.