Suicide Note have been rising amongst the ranks of the metal/hardcore hybrid scene as of late and this full-length debut for Ferret Music should only continue the trend. Taking great leaps and strides onward from their previous EP release "Come On Save Me", the band have arguably reached their next plateau, honing and expanding their music into what is essentially a balanced mix of blistering hardcore and metal with a few shades of emo and punk. Hard to cleanly label or classify, this Indianapolis based quartet will likely appeal to fans of bands like Curl Up And Die, Every Time I Die, older Cave In and more.
Unquestionably one of the biggest differences shown here from their last release is the more refined vocal work of band frontman Casey Donley and guitarist Jason Golday. They now choose to incorporate the melodic elements into the songs with much more conviction and purpose, making them sound integral to the material rather than feeling like an afterthought as they did on the previous EP. However, a well rounded vocal approach aside, it should still be noted that the pair haven't turned down the intensity or went emo by any means as 95% of the vocals are still made up of the same enraged throat burning screams and reckless nihilistic wails that the bands fans have come to know and love. Such fiery contributions are sharply complimented by the searing, jagged guitar riffs which often slice and dice the listener with their relentless onslaught, only to cauterize the subsequent wounds. Alternating between balls out punky progressions and snarling noise laden technical metal riffery, that guitar work is often vitriolic and fast paced, yet complex in nature and feel, creating an aggressive paradox that powers the tracks through. Meanwhile, the heavy handed bass lines served up help to strengthen the guitars approach and stretch the bands range overall as they retain a certain sense of detuned elasticity that gives the rhythm section both a gritty focus and dangerously unhinged demeanor. This leaves band drummer Jason Gagovski to become the groups key component of propulsion and thankfully it is a task he handles confidently, bashing out an array of headstrong rolls and blunt, forceful snare hits complete with dizzying timing structures that keep the songs airborne.
The bands music is still fairly noisy and all over the place, yet despite their often chaotic song structures the material is masterfully captured by the ever skillful talents of producer Kurt Ballou of Converge fame. A visceral blend of aggression and emotion assembled without the traditional restraints that have come to be expected of bands from similar genres, the groups music feels edgy and unexpected, a trait that is only boosted all the more by their new found ability to better harness their contrasting emotions and mood swings. Sure a decidedly different direction has been taken from their previous EP and as such the more expansive sound found on this release is likely to leave a few of their older fans thumbing their noses, but on the other hand it also has the potential to bring the band to a wider audience as a result. The greater depth and creative ideas now being implemented richen the music and help the group to begin to ascend out of the mire and establish a distinct identity that was somewhat lacking last time out. This is not to say that they achieve everything they set out to do though as there are still some questionable moments throughout the release and the mere raw viciousness of their album alone will probably put off many conservative heavy music fans; But for what it is, "You're Not Looking So Good" is still an impressive full-length debut that should take the band places they haven't been able to reach in the past, so they may just want to hold up on committing the act, even if the note is already written.
(3.5 / 5)