Ahh metalcore, that old tried and true standby, flush with breakdowns, carefully placed melodic choruses and chugging guitar riffs. Sure it served its purpose to put nu-metal in its grave around the turn of the century, but now it finds itself in the same place as its former foe. Countless bands looking the same, playing the same and rarely offering anything more than a passing distraction. Whereas Ferret Music previously released albums like Poison The Well's "Versions" that were part of the solution, they now take a step back and add to the problem with "The Life I Know".
On the surface there's nothing outrightly wrong with Gwen Stacy's latest. The band have all the requisite traits to be an entirely competent metalcore band, but in doing so, they also come remain painfully generic. The album feels like a conglomeration of the works of Norma Jean and earlier Poison The Well, among others, and in turn brings nothing new to the table. Not to be harsh, but records like this just don't need to exist in 2008.
The world doesn't need another stereotypical release that sees musical talent belied by tiresome crunchy riffs, phoned-in melodic choruses and countless moshy breakdowns. Even the electronic dalliances and stab at 'neurisis' turf have been done before and while they do help to keep the album afloat, they don't push it any further than the countless other bands out there doing the exact same thing. Sure piracy is killing the music industry, but 20 albums that sound precisely like this coming out each week can't help either.
(2 / 5)