On Bury Your Dead’s bio on their Victory Records space, it states: “This record helped the band as a whole exorcise a lot of demons. Each song tells a different story, and most of them are a big middle finger to someone or something.” That is a rather bold statement considering the music at hand.
So with their newest effort, Cover Your Tracks the crew has decided to go with the generic formula: Fast and Heavy, Slow and Heavy, Sing-along, Breakdown, repeat through entire album. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, many hardcore albums end up being this, and quite a bit of it sounds pretty decent. The same works with Cover Your Tracks. In the end, it is decent at best.
Not to say there are not standout tracks. The album opens with a wallop in the form of “Top Gun.” Growling vocals, heavy guitars, double bass spread liberally throughout, all of these things make this song some good head-banging fun. In fact, the whole song is virtually one mosh riff after the other. It is unrelenting, and I was glad that it was over in two minutes, because anymore would have made me lose my mind, especially towards the end when guttural vocals are alternating in a rather creepy and disconcerting fashion.
Most of the songs follow this formula to the teeth. This album is far from original in virtually anyway. It is good listening, but gets rather generic about halfway through, and by the end of it, I can’t even tell the difference between any of the songs (except for “Eyes Wide Shut” which tosses in a lovely cliché piano outro).
Quite possibly the oddest thing about this album is the lyrics. Normally with this sort of hardcore, it requires a tough exterior of sorts to listen and enjoy. But the boys of Bury Your Dead have a soft side, and they aren’t afraid to show it, as the sample lyrics of “Vanilla Sky” show: “Just because I’m so alone/doesn’t mean I can’t miss home/I’m tired of crying/tired of sleeping alone/if this is how you want/then I am moving on.” It may just be me, but the juxtaposition of chug-a-lug music with stereotypical pop-punk lyrics is just too much to handle. I may criticize other similar bands of having the stereotypical “Fuck you I got my crew go to hell you fucking posers before I fucking kick your fucking teeth in” lyrics, but I would have to say that it fits the music better than what Bury Your Dead settled on.
Cover Your Tracks is a mediocre album. Bury Your Dead seem to have a bit of potential with songs like “Magnolia” having some awesome opening guitar riffs as well as some great transitions. But overall, the album lacks the intensity that the opening track powers in with. A rather unfortunate shortcoming, because without their intensity being shoved down your throat, Bury Your Dead are rather generic.