Band: Before We Forget
Label: Stand and Deliver Records
Release Date: September 2, 2008
Review By: Scott L
01. Go Fast (Turn Left)
02. That One Animal
04. Someone, Something
05. To This Day (Interlude)
06. Thoughts Of A Wanderer
07. So, What’s The Plan
08. This Is The Title Track
09. Confined Suspension
10. How Long
One lesson that I seem to have to learn over and over again is not to judge a book by it’s cover. Or a CD by it’s CD jacket, as the case may be. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I tore open the bubble-wrapped mailer and got my first glimpse of Before We Forget’s 2008 release, L.T.D. In some strange way the cover reminded me of For Love Not Lisa’s Information Super Driveway. But that’s probably just me since I’m finding it difficult to articulate the reasoning behind the association.
At any rate, Before We Forget, a five-piece out of Columbus, Ohio, plays kind of a hybrid mixture of old-school and nu-school rock. You can think of it this way; if Iron Maiden, Letter Kills, and Haste The Day had a kid… Before We Forget would be that kid. And while those bands may still keep an eye on the milkman, a kid like that would have metal on the mind and rock in his blood. And so it is. Before We Forget jumps out of the gate and rarely lets up through the course of this release. Maybe not the most original music out there, but why tinker too much with a proven product. And if there’s one thing I can tell you about these guys, they can craft some pretty chunky music.
Stand and Deliver Records describes the band’s style of music as “a cohesive mixture of indie rock and melodic hardcore, with a twist of southern rock.” I would have to say that that’s pretty accurate; but be advised that the mixture is not in equal parts. Before We Forget is first and foremost a heavy rock band. Crunchy guitars, pounding bass, rapid fire drums, and vocals that range from clean and powerful to low growls that would make a life-long chain smoker proud. Fans of Dead Poetic, Nailpoint, Agraceful and Disciple should all find something to enjoy on this CD.
Lyrically, L.T.D. was a mixed bag at first blush. There were songs that I really dug and songs that had me scratching my head. Take heart, the majority of the songs have thought-provoking messages that are timely for the day and age that we live in. But there are also a couple of tracks that make you wonder. There was even a song, track 7, “So, What’s The Plan”, that made me feel a little bit uncomfortable as I tried to rationalize just what exactly these guys were trying to say… or what angle I was supposed to take it from. Watching the video for the song on their MySpace page only muddied the waters further. Why the cornfield? Why the black-ops guys in chem-suits and tricked out ARs? Enquiry minds want to know. So I went to the source. Here’s the band’s thoughts behind the song: “It’s about the difficulties of being abstinent in our current culture as a Christian.” Fair enough.
Standout track: “Thoughts Of A Wanderer.” I was sold from the opening guitar riff. Jeepers! Great structure and perfect change ups. Add to that a strong spiritual message and that’s a recipe for success in my book.
Really-cool-but-strangely-out-of-place track: “How Long.” Nice and mellow. A really cool song by any account… but for a second I thought I had inadvertently hit the random button and unwittingly ended up lost in an After The Sirens ballad. Well, maybe not quite that extreme… but you get the point.
Overall: If you’re any kind of fan of heavy southern-style rock, you should do yourself a favor and give these guys a listen. Ten tracks clocking in at about 35 minutes, good production, decent packaging, and a nice familiar style of hard-edged rock… it’s hard to go wrong. My advice… go ahead, take a chance, and live the dream with Before We Forget.