Armor For Sleep - What To Do When You Are Dead
What do you get when you combine emotionally charged lyrical content, flamboyant upbeat rock, and a mind boggling conceptual storyline? Armor For Sleeps sophomore effort What To Do When You Are Dead.
More tongue in cheek, than reality, these New Jersey natives kick out a spinning theory of how human kind can affect itself with poor social behavior. This glam-edged alternative metal hammers through intro's of melodic guitars, and energizing bass and drums.
Quite honestly, Ive been procrastinating around this review for weeks. So fresh and direct I can barely keep myself from screaming along, and playing air guitar long enough to write my usual watered down dribble. Energizing guitar riffs, heart pounding bass, and drum patterns sliced into manly yet high pitched vocal content inspired by some sort of social disease.
I'm really lying, as the most pressing reason I've avoided this review for so long is 'cause this one dropped into my life like Pearl Harbor. Some CDs come along in life, and dont make sense until all of a sudden your life is altered. Theres two ways to find these CDs.
1)Youre so engulfed in change, or usually pain and heartache you start searching high and low until you finally run across something to relate to.
Then theres the healthier route
2)All of a sudden the power of lyrical content and musical creativity comes together to tell the exact story you would instrumentally create at that very moment.
Regardless of your path to this CD, the real correlating ones come along only every so often, but when they do, they knock you clean out of your shoes. After my Poppas (grandfather) death I was left in ultra limbo. Shortly there after, a girlfriend and I broke up very messily. For anyone who has read my piece For What Its Worth Im Sorry, knows its been a torturous month at best. I had already interviewed Armor For Sleep before this madness began. But I had just gotten What To Do When You Are Dead when it all began falling apart. So I've not been too hard on myself for avoiding this review.
Nuff talk about me...
Lets get right to the heart of things, shall we? Track five Stay On The Ground is a hard pill to swallow. Lyrical content so close to my aching, I simply cant come up with adequate descriptives. A quiet walk of guitars (PJ DeCicco) begins as Ben Jorgensen (lead vocals) feels his way through the rhythm .
I started looking out for myself today, But then I stopped cause I don't care
Its simply impossible to explain the energy building as Anthony Dilonno (bass) steps in. An entire instrumental banding brings in a repeat verse. Now its time for the emo in emotion to stick out like a soar thumb.
*OOZING OUT INEXPLICABLE EMOTION* SO GET IT! GET IT GET IT RIGHT!!! I'm not holding on to a thing here SO GET IT! GET IT GET IT RIGHT!!!! I'm not holding on and can say now... holding your head up is hard when you just want TO STAY ON THE GROUND! TO STAY ON THE GROUND!!!
In great emo form, the lyrics and music both bounce moods like a schizo in arms
I started feeling bad for myself today but then I stopped cause I don't care I'm dreaming less and sleeping more but I sell my soul for the dream you stole
After another chorus run, and a smooth bridge, screaming sick emotion runs right back into the song
OF MY FIFTY YEARS LEFT, IM JUST WAITING AROUND!!! PUT YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE, AND WATCH ME PULL IT DOWN!!! OF MY FIFTY YEARS LEFT, IM JUST WAITING AROUND!!! PUT YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE, AND WATCH ME PULL IT DOWN!!!
One more chorus at the highest peak of emotions..
holding your head up is hard when you just want TO STAY ON THE GROUND! TO STAY ON THE GROUND!!!
If you didn't already, now you should understand the art of Emo at its most simplest form. From one raw human emotion to another. Most of the time following an extreme spectrum of genre. From slow poppy rock, to edgy punk metal in a matter of seconds.
After looking back on the mess that became my last relationship, the lyrics of track one, Car Underwater were another batch that hit too close to home. Just the theoretical chorus shook the needless off my spine like a dead pine tree. I'm in a car underwater with time to kill - thinking back I forgot to tell you this - I didn't care that you left and abandoned me - what hurts more is I would still die for you
Track two The Truth About Heaven is next, and once again these guys serve up a powerful display of Edgy Pop. Like a love song gone wrong, the stop and start format of the distorted guitars, and deep rooted bass eek in and out clearing the path for the hills of the chorus. "I came down here to tell you it rains in heaven all day long, I want to find you so bad and let you know I'm miserable up here without you. Up and down, the emotions and pace jump from one tree to another.
But dont get me wrong Not the whole album is an upbeat edgy lyrical cutting sword. Tracks like eight Basement Ghost Singing and six A Quick Little Fight, are content with pulling you out of the emotional high cloud cover. Directly after Stay On The Ground, A Quick Little Fight puts you into a sweet technotronic beat, weaving you back into your kindergarten nap time days.
Now I'm just spacing out again If I try hard enough I'll pretend that I'm flying above some trees and they're smiling and waving at me
With the clouds on my back I can see all the people down there fast asleep Now I see your house far, far below so I'll fly down to give you a show
Back to guitars exploding like shotguns, track three Remember To Feel is lyrically, the most exploiting to my own personal chameleon like character. Cause you know I change myself to impress whoever happens to be next to me. Imagine a stuttering guitar gauge out of control as the emotion runs thick. But I'm sick of trying so hard! Constant guitar flickering, and a killer kick drum inspiring my most heart-pounding moment of the disc. Waste all your time with me, I know I'm a mess right now, dont give up believe.. Then the screaming lyrics that touch the nerve of words I spoke myself to another soul not too long ago. I'd wait it out for you.
As far as figuring on the concept of the album, Im left to believe only what I feel myself. Like many concept albums in past time, its up to the listener themselves to take from it what they need. But if you were to look for hints, or clues look into songs like track four, Awkward Last Words. Nothing fancy, as the simple chord intro and accompanying drums (Nash Breen) set a nice pace for more lyrical journeys.
I wanna live again I wanna start everything over again I wanna get this right I'll meet you in another life Over again I'm coming back around again Coming back over again I'm coming back around again, but now it's over
I'm gonna make this work I'm gonna change everything wrong with me I'm gonna prove you wrong when I meet you in another life Over again I'm coming back around again Coming back over again I'm coming back around again, but now it's over
After this, its obvious to me What To Do When You Are Dead is much more in the subconscious. Its more in reference to being dead while youre alive to many people in the world. People who are simply too engulfed in their own lives, (whether it be pain and suffering or happiness and content), to pay attention to others in their life. If youre still that hard up for answers, check out the secret track (thanks to Jason @ www.crushmusicmag.com for finding it). Simply rewind Car Underwater and you cant miss it. Other available bonuses is for those iTunes.com people. There is an iTunes.com exclusive track named Very Invisible. Since I am a mere puppet to this game, I wasnt given the special edition with the DVD either.
Anyways, closing things up here, I am sincerely impressed with not only the work of Armor For Sleep, but also with producer Machine who has a history of working with artists of another breed (White Zombie, Vision of Disorder, Lamb Of God, Clutch). Props of course to Equal Vision Records on harboring yet another artist who showed off their individualistic artistry. Thanks for the therapy.
Also much thanks to www.plyrics.com
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on 2007-07-31 blueandyellow Said:
1. Car Underwater (3/5)
2. The Truth About Heaven (4/5)
3. Remember To Feel Real (3/5)
4. Awkward Last Words (3/5)
5. Stay On The Ground (4/5)
6. A Quick Little Flight (2/5)
7. The More You Talk The Less I Hear (3/5)
8. Basement Ghost Singing (3/5)
9. Walking At Night, Alone (3/5)
10. I Have Been Right All Along (3/5)
11. The End Of A Fraud (3/5)
Total Score: 3.09/5.00
* I think I just outgrew this one.
on 2007-06-01 hstisgod Said:
Yea the hidden is a nice find, it definitely does make this a complete CD. It was refreshing for a band not to end album with the acoustic cool down at the end, rather they hide it. Cant wait for the new album, I just hope the label change didnt mess with their sound too much, as it was the trasformation of AFS from their debut and their sophomore was a LARGE jump.
on 2007-06-01 Alotofnothing Said:
I've always appreciated this album as one of the better "emo" albums (even though I hate using that term). The concept was well written and well played-out, and I didn't know about the hidden track until just know. Puts a whole different spin on the story.
on 2007-05-31 hstisgod Said:
nicely put Dan....You gotta be siked about the new one coming out this year no?
on 2007-05-31 blackxdan Said:
Machine definitely did a great job producing this album and helping make it the best it could possibly be. This sophomore album is nothing short of amazing. The lyrics are indeed incredible, and the song progression is great. With songs like The Truth About Heaven, Awkward Last Words, and Remember To Feel Real... this album takes to the emo genre it's been placed in, and makes all those little emo boys and girls proud. Props to Armor For Sleep for making a great album.