UK hardcore heroes, More Than Life have been eerily quiet since their last release in 2010. Thankfully, after a few break-up rumours, this rowdy bunch of British southerners have risen from the ashes with their latest effort, What’s Left Of Me. After the group’s signing to Holy Roar Records, More Than Life fans will be ecstatic to finally hear the outfit’s most highly anticipated record to date.
Aptly titled, ‘Asleep’ is a haunting one minute instrumental, which lethargically drags the listener in, before crashing into the album’s second song, ‘Weight of the World’. This emotive punk anthem, fueled by James Matthews’ unmistakable vocals, shows how the band have matured since they last ventured into a studio. Muddy bass tones and harsh power chords contrast boldly with a variety of graceful guitar melodies. Matthews’ vocals have a colossal impact on this record. In particular, title track ‘What’s Left Of Me’, ‘Threshold’ and the well-received single ‘Do you Remember Me’ show Matthews effortlessly falling into cracked clean vocals. Going against the mould of conventional melodic hardcore, Matthews creates a new dimension to the band’s sound. By bridging the gap between hardcore and alternative, this albums originality has been unquestionably cemented in a fairly over-crowded genre.
Luckily More Than Life’s new found maturity hasn’t replaced the much loved, emotional and venomous hue to their sound. Tracks like ‘Seasons Change’ and ‘Sometimes’ bring the band’s usual themes of anger and passion to life, pulling the listener in through raw energy and manic emotion. Credit to Neil Kennedy – Last Witness and Landscapes, the production on this album has helped transform More Than Life’s original, fresh and un-kempt sound into the evolved and concise music found on What’s Left Of Me.
More Than Life have taken their angst ridden, animated style and crafted it to an entirely new level with What’s Left Of Me. Any hints of naivety have been smashed aside by strong musicianship and song writing. Even though the album slightly lacks a sense of raw aggression, found on previous attempts, the crystal-clear aspiration and emotion of these artists shines through all the more. This record takes a seat in the same vein as Touché Amore and Defeater – not a bad camp to be in, and will sit comfortably with both old and new fans of the band. After a long break, What’s Left Of Me is an exceptional return to form for these guys, and with a string of shows already lined up, the future looks bright for More Than Life.
Track list - What’s Left Of Me:
2. Weight Of The World
3. What’s Left Of Me
4. You’re Not Alone
6. Seasons Change
7. Do You Remember
9. Love Is Not Enough
Written by Alfie Nobes