Fear Before - Art Damage (Cover Artwork)

Fear Before

Fear Before: Art DamageArt Damage (2004)
Equal Vision Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

While Aubin may have cited a lack of continuity and originality not only in Fear Before the March of Flames's awkward acronym but sound as well on their Rise released / Equal Vision re-released debut full-length Odd How People Shake, I happened to really enjoy the record. Rarely can a band appear i.
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While Aubin may have cited a lack of continuity and originality not only in Fear Before the March of Flames's awkward acronym but sound as well on their Rise released / Equal Vision re-released debut full-length Odd How People Shake, I happened to really enjoy the record. Rarely can a band appear influenced by The Blood Brothers lately without coming off like second-rate cop-outs; Fear Before did the former, avoided the latter, continued an obvious abandonment of traditional verse-chorus structure, swiftly dodged most hardcore clich├ęs, and jumped genres and styles like streetchalk hopscotch. All in all, I thought it was by far one of the better debuts of the year.

Well, how many different ways can you say "sophomore slump?"

Fear Before takes a truly lazy turn on Art Damage, showing a band that has not only fallen victim to playing a much more straightforward, significantly harder style, but also linking together the aforementioned verse-chorus structure, a lack thereof they once prided themselves on. Losing the two-guitar sound didn't necessarily have to equate to a lone axeman resorting to wankery riffs every five seconds, but it's precisely the end result. Hardcore doesn't always stand on its own alone well. Sure, the band hasn't yet delved into purely pointless mosh theatrics just yet (save for the opener, "Hey Kid. I'm A Computer. Stop All The Downloading," which is actually the best track, with its flat-out awesome percussion work [see double-time intro, near-grind segue in bridge]), but the now-droning, solo vocal style, in which the melodic backups have all but disappeared, paired with repetitive lyric shouts and cycled riffs don't account for very much enjoyability. The vocals are screamed without a skosh of regard for comprehension, to the point where even following along in the liner notes won't help - it's like trying to read tourist information in a foreign country's native language. The aforementioned ebaumsworld reference "Hey Kid..." and its following track, "Should Have Stayed In the Shallows," are really the only legitimately good songs. The playful song titles are vividly overshadowed by the mediocrity and inarguably kitsch nature of the record's remaining parts. Some critics claim that an increased concentration on Botch is the alibi for the band's abruptly "meh" transition, but if that's the case, the band has failed to live up to the reasonable expectations that would accomodate this proposed theory.

On its own, Fear Before The March Of Flames's second offering isn't a terrible record. It's some fantastic background noise, even. But Art Damage pales albino-like in comparison to both the potential and kinetic energy displayed on the band's debut, a discouraging effort from a group once trying to stray at least somewhat from the norm.

Hey Kid. I'm A Computer. Stop All The Downloading.
The State Of Texas Vs. Fear Before


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (June 20, 2006)

"hey kid i'm a computer stop all the downloading. let's name a song after a stupid joke that everyone has repeated a million times. ha. ha."

thank you.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

Anybody want to hear some "36Flip" pop punk, before they were FBTMOF? and yes they did have a 2nd guitarist. Personally i don't like the music but props for making it this far.

Anonymous (January 31, 2005)

they guy who made the sutpid ass review needs shot 18 times in the head he dont know about music new cd way better than the old one

Anonymous (January 30, 2005)

ladies and gentlemen, boys girls -

although i do tend to favor odd how people shake, art damage is amazing interms of musical structure and lyrics, even the art is pretty good. all in all you owe it to yourself, if you like hardcore/indie/post-hardcore whatever it is this week or have heard about fear before from word of mouth or stumbled upon them, to buy this cd or the latter. support fear before. dont listen to critics. especially "punk news"..the word punk is about as punk as sesame street or avril.

inagreendase (January 11, 2005)

To the poster below: all of these riffs were taken directly from We Are The Romans. I actually wasn't aware of it at the time of this review, but now that I own a copy, it's very clear.

Anonymous (December 24, 2004)

I'm going to blame your review on the fact that you post on a "punknews" website. First of all, Fear Before is anything but punk, which leads me to think you liked OHPS more because it's not as heavy and has less screaming, when in reality, Art Damage is a MUCH better CD. The band matured so much with this record. The song structures, the lyrics, everything. I'd like to see you pick up a guitar and write something completely original and void of 'wankery riffs every five seconds'. You obviously have no knowledge on the band and have never actually listened to the CD all the way through.

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

different people have different opinions , personally I think that this is a great album, the only negative part is the lyrics

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

no, seriously though, i still want to know who is "ripping off" the blood brothers. because A. its definetely not these guys, B. i don't know any of the thousands of the bands that apparently do and C. i'm really curious to know where you come off with that argument.

douche (November 22, 2004)

You people are nuts. Fear was and still is amazing. Art Damage is a great c.d. and if you would actually listen to it and try to be open minded it will grow on you like crazy. I think a true fan would definately love this c.d. Also, to the person that said they are a rip off of the blood brothers. That is the dumbest thing you could possibly say. They sound absolutely nothing like them. You need to listen to both bands before saying something like that and I don't mean put the c.d. in and sit there thinking, "Wow, i'm cool because I'm listening to hardcore." No, I mean actually LISTEN to the music.

some1 (November 4, 2004)

"People talk a lot of shit but what's your bands name? What label are you on?"

you know, you're right. I'm gonna stop saying Hitler was bad, cause I've never led a country better than he did.

and, since I'm not in a band right now, I now think that EVERY SINGLE BAND IN THE WORLD is great!

inagreendase (November 4, 2004)

Could you run a label better? If so, how come you aren't?

Who said anything about labels? Excellent work putting words in my mouth.

greg0rb (November 3, 2004)

To the guy below me: Oh, please. That's the most stupid arguement i've ever heard. To Brian- thanks for reviewing this, one less for my pile... I've never been so bored by something so "intense". As scott would say, "Total snoozefest. Pass."

Anonymous (November 3, 2004)

People talk a lot of shit but what's your bands name? What label are you on? Who have you toured with? You are allowed your own opinion but can you do better? Could you run a label better? If so, how come you aren't?

Anonymous (November 3, 2004)

Yeah, whoever this kid is he's not the brightest fan of them all. FBTMOF had a 2nd guitarist at least up til the played the Boy Sets Fire show in Denver before they went to record there first album.. There really isn't any denying that... One guitarist or two though, they are still way too overrated for an unoriginal band

Anonymous (November 2, 2004)

the dude posting is not from the band, just some fanboy who got his panties in a twist that this many people don't like the band hes jocking.

Anonymous (November 2, 2004)

This was a very well-written review.

Anonymous (November 2, 2004)

I'm not acting like a baby. It's also not like I am above any of you. I used to post on the my chemical romance board before they went suck. James was our guitar tech, last time I tell you.

Anonymous (November 2, 2004)

How do you keep denying that you had a 2nd guitar player? I saw you in Denver and Boulder with one a year ago.... funny shit

stevejonestherealbones (November 2, 2004)

hey dude. if you really are in fear before. it looks better if you just ignore the negative stuff and dont act like a little baby on a message board. come on. do you really want to act like all the kids on here that cry when i tell them their favorite band sucks balls?

- jones the bones

labelsaves (November 2, 2004)

I saw them live with Evergreen Terrace and was really impressed with them. The guitar player has a really awkward style, but he is insane.

A Life Once Lost was a piece of shit at that show. I hated them before that anyways. Evergreen Terrace has always blown monkey nuts. The Red Chord was fucking insane. They rock shit.

Anonymous (November 2, 2004)

James was our guitar tech who used to play shows sometimes. Never had a second axeman, sorry. Also, please name 2039034934 bands that do our sound better than us. Please

Anonymous (November 1, 2004)

hey kid i'm a computer stop all the downloading. let's name a song after a stupid joke that everyone has repeated a million times. ha. ha.

Anonymous (November 1, 2004)

can someone please tell me what millions of bands are ripping off the blood brothers?

Anonymous (November 1, 2004)

isn't this the band that is made up of kids that all used to be in pop-punk bands until the whole blood brothers thing got popular so they started aping that? i'm pretty sure they are. stop trying to be "clever" or pretending you're original or something new when there's like 45234534 bands already playing this style a lot better than you are.

Anonymous (October 31, 2004)

I enjoyed this record. i hated it at first yet if you give it some time i t will grow on you

soulbleed (October 31, 2004)

I don't get this band, but I don't really try either. They have a cool name, but that's it.

Jesse (October 31, 2004)

Not to mention labelmates Black Cross just released Art Offensive a year ago...way to have an original album title.

Anonymous (October 31, 2004)

score is for fensler films.

body massage.

Anonymous (October 31, 2004)

equal vision only puts out shit these days

Anonymous (October 31, 2004)

Maybs kids will finallz realize that this is not a good band. And yes, you did have a 2nd guitar when the band started...

Allular (October 31, 2004)

I like Botch and Converge too. In fact, I like both bands a LOT. But I can still appreaciate what Fear Before is trying to do and I can appreaciate their progression from their last album.

Anonymous (October 31, 2004)

kids are jumping all over this band nowadays. for the life of me i can't understand why.

Jesse (October 31, 2004)

No, we hate this band because we LIKE Botch and Converge. They play well. This bad sucks because they try to be like Botch and Converge, and fail horribly.

Anonymous (October 30, 2004)

I like this album a lot, people are pissed because they got harder and they cant stand bands like Converge or botch.

Anonymous (October 30, 2004)

score is for the artwork

Anonymous (October 30, 2004)

"The lyrics are like ETID"

Bite your tongue!

Allular (October 30, 2004)

I think this album is 238245974957 times better than their debut. The melodic parts were sophmoric at best. Art Damage is definitely more creative lyrically and musically. I think the reason so many people aren't into 'em because they think of them of being a certain image when they're not. But that's just my opinion.

Anonymous (October 30, 2004)

We never had a second guitarist.

Anonymous (October 30, 2004)

I saw them on there first tour?..with Anatomy of a ghost. It was awsome with two guitars, and they seemed realy right live. When I recently saw them with Evergreen terrace it sounded like a huge mess, and the songs didnt have that twangy rythem guitar in the backround since the other guitarest left. They sucked.

inagreendase (October 30, 2004)

The moment I really got into this album was when I sat down and read the lyrics while listening.

I actually did this too to finally evaulate this album, because I was having a lot of trouble admitting that this just wasn't good.

Lo and behold, I passed out somewhere around tracks 8-9. No joke.

Also, you guys can stop comparing them to The Blood Brothers now. Just because their first album may have sounded like a rip-off to some of you doesn't automatically mean it carried over to this album. Art Damage sounds NOTHING like the Blood Bros. That's like trying to tell me "Saves the Day is such a Lifetime ripoff, score is for that."

Anonymous (October 30, 2004)

I couldn't disagree more. True, I had to take time to get into this album a little more but the lyrics are amazing and it is a sound that if you heard it, you would know it was fear before. The moment I really got into this album was when I sat down and read the lyrics while listening. I suggest you do the same. The music is really solid and the lyrics elevate it. The lyrics are like ETID with the sarcasm and less allusions but thats fear before's style and I love it.

The Party hasn't started until there's spike in the punch
Lets do coke like we're vacuums and dance our troubles away before we drive our cars off bridges
I'm the life of the party until I sober up

kirbs84 (October 30, 2004)

i just watched an 80's cover band play alot of shitty music for a halloween party....why do people like 80's hair "metal?"

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

um, debut sucked?

just my opinion.

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

these guys should play with the plot to blow up the eiffle tower and these arms are snakes and the snake the cross the crown, but if that happened people would only watch one of the bands and skip out for the other three. can you guess which band people would watch?

because no one sure as hell would want to watch

fear before the march of flames
the plot to blow up the eiffle tower
the snake the cross the crown

johnrambo (October 29, 2004)

fuck. tough crowd.

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

A lot of bands become less chaotic and more organized as time goes by. Fear Before made a conscious choice to do the opposite and get more chaotic and less organized. This is a good mess though.

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

Fear Before could have done a lot better. O well.

kirbypuckett (October 29, 2004)

Those GI Joe videos are the best things in life.

- Kirby

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

Try going to the same high school as these guys, and remembering when "36Flip" was a popular band.

Score is for the shitty local bands who try to take cues from Fear Before (who just rip off the Blood Brothers).

What a shitty band. Best band from Colorado is Planes Mistaken For Stars.

Jesse (October 29, 2004)

That fucking song title is from the Fensler Film re-makes of Gi-Joe ads. Hilarious, but stupid to use as a song title. This band is just a Blood Brothers rip-off.

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

That opening line is even more awkward than the awkward "acronym", which I'm guessing would refer to FBTMOF. Y'know, because THAT'S an acronym.

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

fuck equal vision, fuck this band, fuck fuck fuck.

andrew13 (October 29, 2004)

saw them live with evergreen terrace... i think i left after 2 or 3 songs... most local bands i know are better than these guys... they didn't strike me as good at all...

trailerparkjesus (October 29, 2004)

Good thing i never bought it.

Crookedsuperhero (October 29, 2004)


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