Life in Pictures is one of those metalcore bands that is making this genre so popular among angst-ridden teens and old school metal fans. Their vocals are some of the most cruel I’ve ever heard screeched out by a set of vocal cords. And wow can their drummer play some real calorie burning metal. But I don’t want to leave out the wicked guitar riffs that will have you launching yourself off anything that moves. The bass work just seals it for you. You know you have to have more than just this album and you’ll be watching the Internet for news of a tour. Simply amazing.
Songs From the Sawmill is the latest EP from Life In Pictures, and, basically, it is a mixture of metal, hardcore, with a little punk thrown in for good measure. There is some very talented stuff being tossed around on this disc. You will find the guitars will follow the percussion, and then zoom off only to fall exactly back into place, seamlessly. Buildups and breakdowns come at just the right points to break up the songs and keep you guessing as to what is coming next, causing this EP to be anything but predictable. Lyrically the disc is deeply political, with commentary ranging from the soul-crushing effects of consumerism, to the world’s growing apathy toward human tragedy.
The disc starts out with “When Faces Become Numbers.” No steady buildup here; you are thrown directly into the fire. Rapid drums overlaid with chorusing guitars, and gravelly vocals start off and pour into some excellent breakdowns. “Skipping the Beat” has a great rhythm going for it and some really poignant vocals about conforming to our work-a-day society; “My obligation is not a labor of love / But a contract with society that ties me down to my seat.”
Ending the disc is “Nicholas Van Orton.” This one slows a bit - though it is by no means “slow” - into a series of well-orchestrated breakdowns and transitions that make for a full listen. The only downer here is they end the track with a wall of feedback that is about 45 seconds long, making you want to shut it off about 15 seconds in.
Though the disc is only five tracks long, there are no two-minute songs; the average is better than five minutes. That coupled with the gifted song structures makes this feel like a full album. Nuances are found with every listen, really making replay value on this pretty high. This is an above average disc, well worth finding and picking up.