Killing the Dream - Fractures (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Killing the Dream

Fractures (2008)


When Killing the Dream play live, they cement all the youth-crew revival comparisons they're tagged with, as competent as they do sound. However, on record they're an entirely different beast (maybe aside from "We Were" here). Killing the Dream play with darker guitar tones and become a much more intense, throttling monster that takes them from grounds comfortable with their peers and into territory that refreshingly doesn't seem entirely familiar.

Killing the Dream always seem to have a sort of cloudy, ragged recording to their records, which is a likely contributing factor. Here, it's J. Robbins' doing, and oddly enough it fits the band closer than his last work on a hardcore album -- Modern Life Is War's Midnight in America. Fractures is simply smothering, but not without dynamic production tricks, Eli Horner's raspy, unrelenting scream and the band's frequent tempo and tone changes.

Throughout Fractures, Killing the Dream offer moments of brooding and weird guitar melodies that sound more out of a Cave In record than anything (the title track), as well as horrifyingly bass-heavy dirges ("Everything But Everything"). They seem wonderfully capable of playing slow and methodical (the well-executed buildup beginning of "Holding the Claws") as well as at a blast-away frequency ("Hang the Jury").

They also manage to somehow take the typically banal hardcore lyric and make it sound convincing, with this no more evident than in the effective "Thirty Four Seconds": From the opening line "I should have fucking known you are who you fuck" to the spine-tingling, frustrated outburst of "I've never fucking said it before. / I've never fucking meant it more. / Fuck you. / Fuck all of you." at the end, KTD get away with f-bomb laden murder to an unusually accomplished degree.

Fractures is admittedly a bit short on memorability, its sad/angry bastard narratives operating on pure fury, angst and disgust that are crystal clear in the moment but rough to recall further down the line.

Fractures proves Killing the Dream isn't quite a no-frills band, but that's perfectly fine. It's likely their most accomplished and ambitious work yet easily retains the intensity that's been prevalent through their albums, something that isn't always said for their compatriots both past and present.

Thirty Four Seconds