English Teacher “This Could Be Texas”

For fans of: Black Country, New Road; Black Midi

British rockers English Teacher came out with a bang in the form of one of the most promising debut albums I’ve heard this year. The band combines elements of indie rock, post-punk, and art rock on this album that pays heavy homage to many other bands in the scene stylistically — most notably Black Country, New Road, although English Teacher tends to lean more into the indie rock genre and less into the jazz-rock that is prevalent in BCNR’s material.

The songwriting on this album is very impressive. From the engaging and amusing narrative of “Not Everybody Gets to Go to Space” to the standout ballad “You Blister My Paint,” the band manages to try lots of ideas without feeling overly eclectic, and the narratives and interesting lyrics make the songs more interesting to follow. There are some really interesting post-rock progressions on this album, with many  songs starting off simple and having a massive, grand conclusion.

I would like to see the band refine their sound a bit more and differentiate. There were a couple of songs that didn’t work for me, namely “The Best Tears of Your Life” with its awkwardly implemented autotuned refrains. That being said, this is a great debut that I recommend to anyone who is into less mainstream forms of rock.

Rating: 8/10

Imminence delivers orchestral metalcore with “The Black”

For fans of: Spiritbox, Architects, Caskets

Melodic metalcore band Imminence’s “The Black” is a dramatic metalcore album with emotional singing and impassioned screams, buffeted by thundering guitars and lilting strings played by lead vocalist Eddie Berg. The album, as might be expected from the title, is very dark, delving into themes of depression and self-loathing, with a hopeful undercurrent keeping the listener afloat.

This is a well-produced, well-performed album with some great moments. The standout track to me was “Death By A Thousand Cuts” with a powerful chorus that makes it perhaps the most affecting song on the album. 

While the album is very solid, there are a few issues here and there. One of these is the songwriting. While Imminence has improved this since their last album, 2021’s “Heaven In Hiding,” many of these songs sound very similar to each other, even if there are some more unconventional structures here and there. 

Additionally, while the strings act as a tasteful inclusion with the more straightforward metal songs, I find that the interludes with strings tend to feel very generic, just sort of “soundtrack music.” I wish these songs had more interesting progressions, or just were replaced with more actual metal songs.

Despite my gripes, this is a solid metalcore album that is pretty accessible to those newer to the metal genre. At the very least, you can’t deny the emotion that clearly went into this album.

Rating: 7/10

Tagged: Album Review

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The Yellowjackets swept Alfred University on the road Thursday, winning both games by a score of 5–4.