Louder Than Bombs - This Can't Be Everything (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Louder Than Bombs

This Can't Be Everything (2011)


Louder Than Bombs displayed a curious mix of twinkly emo and barked melodic hardcore on their 2010 7", No News Is Good News, but something was largely off. This Can't Be Everything is reflective of those concerns–the improvement this Michigan band has made is just tremendous.

This Can't Be Everything continues to feature the band playing with a mix of forcefully shouted melodic hardcore and the noodly '90s emo revival that's so popular in select circles these days, but with a flair that's relentlessly fun and upbeat, and a reckless approach to structure and the best of punk's subgenres. This time around, the parts flow impeccably. Opener "Frequent Liars" comes through as a thumping fist-pumper only to give way to a yelping, super catchy sing-along section, and somehow it just works. "Indian Giver" is a poppy, bouncy number with the bark leading it effortlessly, with smoother sung group vocals–and this one part with an intricate percussive fill and a strong, searing anthemic hook.

"King of Pain" has their hardcore vocalist suddenly singing in more of a gravelly tone, trading off with the other guy in a well-done, back-and-forth fashion fans of the Great Explainer will probably dig. It also has the best part of the entire EP: a repetitive, invigorating growl of the record title and a wah-wah solo Polar Bear Club might throw down, with reverberating guitars setting up a gripping atmosphere to take the last minute out. That whole part's just huge, and totally awesome.

Though the EP peaks with an entire half to go, the back end's not bad. "Diligent For" runs a more standard pop-punky route; "Ambassador" is a lush, beautiful interlude with a little more wah-wah, but integrated subtly enough for it to not be corny or repetitive; and "Cognitive Patterns" is mostly snotty, ultra-poppy skatepunk with a few more dual vocal moments to freshen it up.

This EP is all over the place, and it does it all rather impressively. Louder Than Bombs were doing something ambitious before this, but now they've found a way to make it thoroughly enjoyable. If they improve half as much for their next release as they did this, we're in for a treat.

This Can't Be Everything EP