Right idea with ordinary execution
While melodic hard rock isn't as big as say it was back in its heyday in the mid to late '80's, it hasn't entirely been wiped out, with the underground scene helping to keep the movement alive despite the lack of high profile attention. But in recent years, we've witnessed a move back towards the hard rock sound, and from some of the most unlikely of places (Such as on Atreyu's Lead Sails Paper Anchor). Taking things one step further is Montreal (Canada) outfit Blessed By A Broken Heart.
After a lengthy break away from the scene (Having released their debut album All Is Fair In Love And War back in 2004), the six piece act (Comprising of vocalist Tony Gambino, guitarists Shred Sean and Robbie Hart, bassist Tyler Hoare, keyboardist Simon Fox and drummer Frank 'Da Bird') are back with their new release Pedal To The Metal.
Although inspired by 80's melodic hard rock, Blessed By A Broken Heart has managed to create a sound that is truly unique; with modern day metalcore influences still a large part of their core sound. But while the amalgamation of opposing genres sounds interesting; Pedal To The Metal isn't quite the album this hard rock fan was expecting. There are some genuinely entertaining songs on offer from the band, particularly on the first half. Unlike a lot of other intro tracks on albums these days, the track that opens up Pedal To The Metal (Intro) is a great scene setter with its acoustic guitars, atmospheric keyboards and use of wolf howls. The follow-up trio of tracks She Wolf, Show Me What You Got and Move Your Body are great examples of the band's ability to fuse together influences of the past with the sounds of today, without taking themselves too serious in the lyrical department. Essentially Blessed By A Broken Heart are as cliché as 80's hard rock was at its peak, but doing so deliberately, with the added muscle of today's metalcore sound to sound even more over the top.
Unfortunately, the album tends to dip a little in the middle with She Is Dangerous, To Be Young (Which sounds like a poor cross between L.A. Guns and Poison) and Doin' It (For The Rock) sounding less convincing and memorable as the preceding tracks. Not helping are Don't Stop and Carry On, which lean a little more on the metalcore side of things in terms of overall musical direction. Thankfully, Blood On Your Hands and Ride Into The Night rectify the tail end of the album with their straight up rock sound.
There's no denying that Blessed By A Broken Heart have a unique (If corny) sound, but as long as their as inconsistent as they are on Pedal To The Metal, they'll always be a bit of a good joke with a bad delivery.
(Century Media Records/Stomp Records Distribution)