Armor for Sleep seems like the kind of band with something to prove. They have played continually for the past couple of years in support of bands that have blown up to the cover of Alternative Press status. They have been patient, but listening to their new album it is apparent that they might not be willing to wait much longer. The emo/screamo/post-hardcore landscape is quite full nowadays with bands trying to make their mark and set themselves apart, but it has become increasingly hard to do so. And while there will be enough fans to go around for many of these bands to eek out an existence, the big success will be reserved for the lucky and ultra talented.
Certain bands like Coheed and Cambria, or The Mars Volta which emerged from the pack of this indie/punk/emo scene, seem like obvious successes because they sound so much different, but choosing the rest is very difficult. What makes Thursday or Taking Back Sunday such a huge success? What nerve was touched off by The Used? Why is it that bands like Armor for Sleep, Emery, The Beautiful Mistake, The Early November and others have lagged behind the curve of those other bands whose names drip off the lips of kids watching Fuse everywhere?
I am not sure, but I digress.
Armor for Sleep’s sophomore effort, “What to do When You Are Dead,” is certainly good enough to jettison them to the top, but the question is, if the sun and moon are aligned just right for it to happen. It is a very good album with a fairly intricate sound with beautiful melodies and rhythms, but its ability to propel the band to big-time success remains to be seen. They seem to have the right recipe which includes getting the music out to the screaming kids as many times as possible on tour.
The album flows from beginning to end, without sounding monotonous. A little punk, a little hardcore minus the scratchy vocals, and a little emo lyricism twinge this album. The songs stand up on their own or as a complete work. If you want to look for a song that encompasses the best of the band, I would recommend “The End of a Fraud” which is the last song on this album. It is pure power and melody.
Will Armor for Sleep achieve the status of Fuse TV and the cover of Alternative Press? That equation is beyond my grasp to this point, but I don’t see why not while listening to the urgency of their newest album.