Authentic hard rock has always been about bleeding emotions and music so sharp and heavy it can tear flesh. This might not be what you would expect from a band that is fronted by an actor, but it is exactly what 30 Seconds To Mars delivers in A Beautiful Lie. The music is razor-sharp and solid, everything that good old-fashioned hard rock is suppose to be, but with a polished edge that is refreshing and modern.
The band is headed up by Jared Leto, also known for his roles in such critically acclaimed films as Requiem For Dream, Panic Room, Alexander and most recently Lord of War with Nicholas Cage. On Leto's dual roles, MTV.com said,
He is not the first actor to launch a career in rock and roll, but somehow he's managed to be the only one audience don't laugh off the stage ... 30 Seconds to Mars has earned itself some bona fide rock cred over the course of its brief career.
I couldn't agree more. Leto must draw from the same deep introspective place he goes to for his dark roles to write his music. The lyrics are passionate and the music is raw energy.
Aware of the preconceptions held toward acting musicians, Leto said, "Any time you have precedent that's negative like that, you're gonna have an uphill battle. I've never shied away from that." He doesn't offer any apologizes, and he shouldn't. The commitment and talent he brings to the music can't be denied and is just as credible as what he brings to his acting. Not only the does he write all the songs the group records, he is lead vocalist and plays guitar. Jared's brother, Shannon Leto, plays drums, and they are joined in 30 Seconds to Mars by Tomo Milicevic, also on guitars, and Matt Wachter on bass.
The CD opens with what was the first single, "Attack." The opening is a digital extravaganza of synthesizers which gives way to Leto's powerful vocals. Though he occasionally moves to the screaming that is ever present in today's heavy music, he doesn't cheat on the vocals. For the most part, it is very melodic and his voice is commanding. What he is delivering with that voice is potent as well. The lyrics are intricate and nearly poetic. This song is a driven expression of endings and new beginnings. The deep seated emotions cross both sides of the spectrum, rage filled and mournful.