BRING ME THE HORIZON – That’s The Spirit
Released: September 11th 2015
Oli Sykes – Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
Lee Malia – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Matt Kean – Bass Guitar
Matt Nicholls – Drums
Jordan Fish – Keyboards, Vocals
Facebook: Bring Me The Horizon
A band that has been doing the rounds since 2003 and in that amount of time managed to secure a fanbase all over the world is Sheffield lads Bring Me The Horizon who over the years have had a change up in style as their band progressed with every album released. If you take a look back to their first offering of 2006’s “Count Your Blessings” you would be forgiven for thinking the band you are listening to on their new release was a completely different group altogether. But as bands move forward in their career they need to change things in order to grow and progress musically and prove to fans and critics that they are more than just a one genre band only able to produce the same sound with each record.
Now this is where things get hard for a band because while their hardcore fans love a particular sound the band has produced, they’ll most often complain that every album sounds the same and they want to hear the band “change it up” a little. However when that band tried something different, those fans that wanted change get up in arms and say they band has “sold out” or something of the equivalent. In a world where fans want one thing, then change their mind when it’s not what THEY want, as a band you have to sit down and decide what is right for you and your own personal growth and progression. And I personally think Bring Me The Horizon has been the band that has done what they wanted to and successfully grown bigger and better with every album that’s been released.
I for one have been waiting to feast my ears on their new album “That’s The Spirit” which follows up from 2013’s blockbuster release “Sempiternal” which was praised by fans across the globe and gave us a slight indication of where this band was heading. Now with the new album finally in my hands I can’t wait to take you through this journey and we start with the first track “Doomed” which starts off with the inhaling of a cigarette before an electronic beat eases us into the crisp clean vocals of Oli Sykes. While this track starts off completely different anything I’ve ever heard from the guys with it’s somewhat electronic dance feel, it soon jumps back into the screaming, slow rock and heavy drumming we’re familiar with. With lyrics like “So come rain on my parade, cause I wanna feel it, come shove me over the edge, cause my head is in overdrive” and already having heard the previous songs they’ve already released to fans, it’s easy to see the theme of this album is about someone trying to ruin your life and how you fight back against their negativity.
Following this opening track is “Happy Song” with cheerleader styled chant of “S-P-I-R-I-T Spirit, let’s hear it” that immediately gets stuck in your head throughout the whole track. Arguably the heaviest song they’ve released so far to promote this album, focuses on the emotions you get when life gets a bit too hard for you to deal with, so you turn to music as a way to make you feel better. Don’t lie, we’ve all done it before and that action now has a theme song in this track.
Next we hear the electronic/heavy smash hit “Throne” which could possibly be BMTH‘s first ever commercially successful song (if those networks pull their fingers out of their asses and actually gave the track a shot). A fight back song about standing your ground and coming back bigger and better once you’re kicked to the ground with lyrics of encouragement like “So you can throw me to the wolves, tomorrow I will come back leader of the whole pack” which have been echoing though my mind since I first came across the music video. If this is an indication of what the guys have been working towards for the past few years, they are definitely on a winner with this new direction.
It’s hard to put my finger down on a favourite track but “True Friends” is most definitely up there with it’s combination of heavy riffs and strings perfectly complimenting the rough singing vocals and hint of screams with just the perfect amount of group vox to make the song stand out as a future classic. Has someone tried to undermine you, steal from you or make you out to look like a fool? This is your anthem to suit most of those scenarios involving former or current mates and remind you to “Keep your friends close, Your enemies closer and your true friends in front of you!” Slowing things down now for “Follow You“, this is the first song from the band that hasn’t sounded like anything else they’ve ever released. It has that “slow jam” and kinda of ambient background music feel to it. Oli trying his hand at hitting high notes is funny to hear at first (knowing his background and previous releases) but by the end of it I was left feeling more relaxed than amped up following the previous songs.
“What You Need” follows and wastes no time differentiating itself from the slower style of “Follow You” with it’s upbeat rock feel and in your face chorus. Oli‘s British accent really comes out more so during this song and it is such an appropriate fit. Although there’s a small sample of guitar solos throughout, I feel if they were just a little bit longer it would have made the song perfect. The next song is “Avalanche” which ups the tempo of the album again and showcases Matt Nicolls drumming abilities as well as Lee Malia‘s riffing before teasing us throughout the song with hints of distortion during the clean vocal breaks then continuing the rockier side as the chorus kicks in. If fans have been wanting to hear a Stadium Rock sound by BMTH, this is the one which will sound amazing when performed to a large crowd. “Run” once again brings the mix of electronic keyboard beats and rock together with a slight hint of rough but clear vocals. An easy to listen to song which can either be used as a running track or keep you chilled out at home.
Now comes the reworked version of the previously released song “Drown” which only sounds different to trained ears. Added in are a few ambient hums and rightfully inserted riffs which really boost the song’s potential that little bit extra. It was already a great song before but it now has that added extra bonus to really make it stand out. Kind of like when you order 6 nuggets and they give you 7 instead, you were happy before hand but now you’re that little bit extra chuffed. A few seconds into “Blasphemy” and I was anticipating a return of the heavier sounds heard earlier in the album, not quite as heavy as the first few songs, but this one really puts the focus on the instrumental band members and guitar solos return! While the feel of this one is a little darker than the last few tracks it still stands out as one of the better songs of the album. Wrapping things up for “That’s the Spirit” is “Oh No” and it could be placed last because you’ll be saying that to yourself when you realise its the last song of the album. Commercially, this could be the song that gets BMTH played on the radio across the world and surprisingly it has a goddamn Saxophone in it. Where the fuck did that come from? At one point I could have been convinced it was a new track by The Wombats. It has the right formula lyrically, instrumentally and sounding to fit in the same category as a lot of the current big time bands getting played across the globe with massive followings behind them. If that is what the boys have tried to do with this track, they have most definitely nailed it perfectly.
In case you didn’t know, Bring Me The Horizon have always changed up their style so they can’t be put into a specific music genre which is why they are so different from when they first made it into the scene. I for one always have been (and probably always will be) a fan of what they release and this album is no different. Their progression as they mature if getting better and better with every album. Bands can’t always focus their musical talent to just once specific genre without wanting to try something different to see if they can and while these boys aren’t appealing to the scene kids of the 2004 era, those fans have grown and their music taste has matured along the way, so much so they’ll probably still appreciate the band and the direction they’re heading in.
In closing this album feels to me like it starts by telling the story of someone who is going though a rough time with others trying to ruin their life or bring them down, but then flourishes into a rebirth once all the negative shit is left behind and it breathes new life into them. Call it what you want but it’s definitely an album that sticks two middle fingers up to the naysayers and haters of this world. Quite possibly even a stab at those who have doubted the band over the years. Another great piece of work and definite fan favourite.
Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit tracklist:
02. Happy Song
04. True Friends
05. Follow You
06. What You Need
11. Oh No
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Until next time, rock the fuck out