I’m not sure what has been said more about Michigan-based metalcore act For the Fallen Dreams, whether it be that people believe them to be the second coming of A Day to Remember or that word of mouth has propelled this band from a commonplace band from the mitten to one of Rise Records’ more promising bands. In any case, the band is back with their third full-length Back Burner, a juxtaposed collection of double-bass infused bouncers and sludged-out breakdowns that braces itself with a ton of melody. In the end, Back Burner feeds a yearning need for singalong worthy mosh-fests but doesn’t blaze much new territory in the process.
From the get-go, we get an in-your-face meeting with this band’s best A Day to Remember impersonation – right down to the eerily similar production on the lower screamed vocals of Dylan Richter. “Say What You Will” doesn’t do much to hide the band’s admiration for Homesick, bolstering slick melodies woven underneath fiery vocals and punishing drop-tuned guitars. If anything, they at least pull it off well. “Only Unopened Arms” is ripe with shiny guitar lines in its sheep-like introduction, only to turn into a wolf when the razor-sharp pummeling of the verses kicks in. The melody returns for the less abrasive chorus, but the back and forth of moods creates a two-sided welcome to both the moshers and the singers in the crowd. In all honesty, this record is what many envisioned A Day to Remember doing musically after Homesick’s cranked up abrasion – albeit For the Fallen Dreams might not have the knack or need for catchiness that ADTR does. Still, this band has the ability and songwriting talent to succeed when they marry melody and mayhem, as many parts of this record prove handily.
Problem is, Back Burner tends to lose focus and consistency as it battles to balance everything it tries to bring to the table. “The Human Collective” shows sparks of smooth songwriting that provides a nice post-hardcore punch, but in the end just keeps feeding upon itself and loses any stream it might have built with all those rhythmic punches. “Deep Down Inside” is too slow for its own good, churning at a mid-tempo that wastes solid breakdowns and soaring vocals in its attempt to perhaps provide something a little less abrasive. On the other hand, too many of these mini-breakdowns sound similar or flat after a few measures through your ears, as “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In” shows. No matter what fret you chug on, you have to be on top of your game rhythmically if you’re going to succeed in this genre. It doesn’t have to be breakdown free, but they could have played to their strengths a bit more and spread the love around when it comes to spicing up those sections.
It isn’t all about pummeling your ears though. “Bottom Feeders” is a strange, if not poorly executed attempt at a ballad, tossing in spurts of drums amongst a weakly constructed melody – with the end result being a flat, repetitive mess. While it is a welcome break from the usual fare of the band, it just plain strikes out.
Back Burner might not be the best thing this band has put out, but it isn’t too shabby either. Filling the void for anyone looking to get rowdy in-between spurts of singalongs, For the Fallen Dreams stand completely still this time around, missing what seems to be an ample opportunity to blow up and doing something memorable in the process.
2. Deep Down Inside
3. Complicate the Situation
4. Only Unopened Arms
5. My Anthem-Like Symphony
6. The Big Empty
7. Bottom Feeders
8. Don't Give Up, Don't Give In
9. The Human Collective
10. Let Go
12. Fist Fight
Coming from Lansing Michigan, For the Fallen Dreams signed to Rise Records during the summer of 2007. The band's 2008 debut release 'Changes' caught the ears and hearts of many, making them one of the biggest acts playing metalcore with a melodic hardcore influence. Their second full length, 'Relentless', was released in 2009. An upcoming full length is set for early 2011.
Vocals - Dylan Richter
Guitar - Jim Hocking
Guitar - Kalan Blehm
Bass - Jaime Cano