My Iron Lung - Relief (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

My Iron Lung

Relief (2014)

Pure Noise

If you caught Grief in 2012, you could tell that My Iron Lung were endeavoring to carve their names permanently in the screamo/post—hardcore genre. And, naturally so of course. They harnessed a lot of anger back then and it's a big positive to see Relief channel the same energies. Why? Because they've taken an even dirtier production and really filled it with the raspy—throated chaos fit for a Pianos Become The Teeth bill. In fact, add this band to the likes of Departures, Caravels and The Saddest Landscape because there's a lot more fuel to the fire this time around, but topped off with a growing musical skeleton. They've gone a tad louder, still feel a bit furtive but it's quite apparent they have a more developed body of sound genre—wise.

In fact, it's how well they mix and mash genres that gives them credence. There are bits of Troubled Coast and La Dispute (spoken word layered with abrasive post—hardcore medleys) and it's a Wave—esque array of tracks on hand. The album's main characteristic is its guitar—intricate tone, heavily distinguished on all tracks. It's distinctly seen on "Commonwealth" —— flushed, frantic and quite rabid, in the least. It's a good nod to the contemporary bands such as Frameworks and State Faults, who also stand out in recent memory.

My Iron Lung also show how fearless they are as they wander into a more experimental and progressive sound. Sure, it's rife with their old vibe but this record has more high—tempo breakdowns, metal riffage and unconventional transitions. "Day Dream" acknowledges this most of all while also bringing to light the melodic nature of Relief. Another nice note is the dual vocals don't shelve the record as much as their past work did, and in this case, it was a masterstroke not giving too much room to the listener to breathe. This is one of those albums where you need that incessant pounding to build that relentless canopy of momentum —— non—stop and thrashy.

"In Defense Of Drowning" attests to this by dancing in between death metal riffs and mellow, laid—back breaks. This kind of stark contrast helps attenuate the parts of the record (and there are quite a few) that sound a bit too similar to other segments. All in all, there are a lot of diverse paths taken by My Iron Lung to allow the listener to enjoy the record to its fullest. It's packed with various shifts in sound but very much worth it. As "June" helps rounds up the album in a Touche Amore—like fashion, further spotlight is placed on how fresh and grating the album plays out. A lot to take in but very vibrant, very chaotic and most of all, engaging. Can't wait to see where they go from here. Blow some steam off with this.