After The Fall - Unkind (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

After The Fall

Unkind (2013)

Paper and Plastick

Unkind is yet another one of those records where the listener could hear just one or two tracks, and not even in their entirety, and they'd recognize something special; something that drives you to the record. After the Fall are impressive on Unkind. If you loved Everything and Fort Orange a few years back, just know that they've assembled their best.

"Unkind" opens the record in blistering fashion, with drummer Chris Millington setting the pace for the remainder of the album with his monstrous and ferocious double-kicks. He really deserves a lot of credit, as his rampant and incessant rage no doubt is a big part of what After The Fall exemplify. The guitars are all about shredding hooks and licks, which Mike Moak and Tyler Page both pull off to perfection. Moak's vocal delivery is spot on and if you're into A Wilhelm Scream, look no further than Unkind for something similar. This album already stakes a claim to make top ten lists of 2013.

"Disunion" is hinged on that metal vibe that bands like Scary Kids Scaring Kids tried to penetrate to the punk masses. The difference here is the quality execution that shows the archetype for hardcore punk when Moak winds things down to his screams of 'I just want to be a better person than you.' It's visceral how Moak drops his metaphorical pipe bombs. "Wrong" follows the same hardcore pattern with which "Writer's Block" kept momentum, the latter pouring out the strain of songwriting and in its self-explanatory stature, emphasizing how much of a gem this album is. The incessant pace and fury is perfectly blended–it's violent harmony.

"Decade" and "Cathedral" polish off the rough ends of After The Fall's sound and they don't disappoint. The former speaks of the troubles and struggles that the trip of being a band has brought forth, what it took to keep playing and making music against the odds. It's endearing and warm to hear the band end the record like this, as they sing how it made the trip worthwhile. This fitting end illustrates just how worthwhile Unkind is; a definite early contender for record of the year.