Beartooth have never really pulled any punches with their lyrics and that certainly carries over into this album. A lot of it definitely seems directed outwards but on a closer listen could actually be fairly introspective, dealing with less desirable aspects of yourself. For instance Fair Weather Friend talks about dealing with someone who is only around when things are convenient for them and it could be about someone you know just as much as it can be about something you hate about yourself. Songs like Burnout deals with shitty people trying to bring you down and not letting them take you down. As far as self motivational songs that deal with issues like this, I generally am not a fan since it feels kind of like low hanging fruit in terms of topics, but I like it on this song and throughout the album in general because it comes of as actually being genuine.
If I have any issues with this album it's that for the sake of a catchy hook occasionally the song structure suffers and cliches enter the picture. The song However You Want It Said is a perfect example of this. It's not a bad song, it is catchy, and the lyrics do have some meaning to them, but overall starting off with a cliched "Oh oh woah Oh oh oh" is not a great sign. Also using "just shut up just shut up" feels like filler rather than an aggressive outcry. Like I said in the end together the product works.
One thing that helps this album overcome any perceived flaws is the raw talent of Shomo and guitarist Taylor Lumley. Shomo has the ability to go back and forth between perfect growls and smooth cleans in an instant, something as mentioned before, is vastly improved from the previous album. Lumley's guitar work here is impeccable cranking out riffs that are not only easy to rock out to but are also catchy enough to stay in your head. When the breakdowns hit they hit hard, there is no holding back for the sake of accessibility here. The band blends their talents together expertly on this whole album.
Aggressive sees some pretty drastic improvements over the previous works from Beartooth. Shomo's vocal work is impressive for how much it has gotten better over time. The songs themselves refine the formula the band has been working with since the beginning. Aggressive takes everything that made the first album and EP shine and refines and polishes that sound. Thankfully in the pursuit of improvements nothing has been compromised or sacrificed. The riffs are heavier than ever, the songs are catchier, and the vocals are better. Aggressive continues 2016's streak of great new music.
Get the album now!