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Among Us teach us about the fall on hard hitting new album

The Fall

You may not have heard of New Jersey’s hard rock four piece Among Us, but I have a feeling that will be changing very soon. The band, formed in 2005 and consisting of vocalist Bryan Brenizer, lead guitarist Rich, bassist Mark and drummer James, are releasing their debut full length album The Fall on April 27th, 2018. The album was recorded at Red Attic Studios in Jacksonville, Florida with producer Damien Starkey (Burn Season, Puddle of Mudd) and  mastered by Troy Glessner (Disturbed, Underoath) in Seattle, Washington.

Don’t get me wrong, Among Us are no rookies. The guys have shared the stage with some notable acts in the rock world, like 40 Below Summer, Dizzy Reed, Marc Rizzo, and Fuel to name a few. I first discovered Among Us in February of 2017 when they opened for Hed Pe at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. My first thought of the band was how they had a sound reminiscent of Chevelle; that’s not a bad thing.

Their high energy, stage presence, and catchy songs kept me hooked and intrigued through their entire 30 minute set, and to be completely honest I could have left the show satisfied after that. I followed these boys for the past year since, waiting to hear what was next from them. Well the time has come and I was given the opportunity to check out their newest effort The Fall so let’s find out if they still have the ability to keep me interested.

I got the chance to speak with the band’s vocalist and half of the group’s songwriter Bryan Brenizer regarding the meaning or reason behind the titleThe Fall and his response shined a little more light on preparing me for the album saying.

It’s a simple, yet loaded title actually,” noted Brenizer. “Some people can look at The Fall as something negative, but it’s actually two-fold. The start of the album has a message by a British philosopher that perfectly sets up the themes and messages throughout the record. I’m a firm believer that everyone has a path, and there will always be unexpected twists and turns, and ups and downs that you cannot predict or prepare for in life. However, I think the most important piece to it all is how you handle it and where you take it from there. For me, I think that’s what is translated into the music on The Fall. When we finally completed the album, I felt such a sense of accomplishment, knowing these songs have provided me (and all of us) with windows to enlightenment, hope, and even closure. We hope it connects with others in a similar way when they hear it as well.

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My initial first thought regarding the album was that it’s very well produced and not overly polished. One thing I love about it is every song on the album can be replicated live and I appreciate a band who doesn’t have to rely on computer and backing tracks to play on stage especially when those elements are so easily accessible these days. The record has a sound familiar yet new, comforting and unique all at the same time.

Bryan Brenizer’s vocals sound outstanding and he allows himself to shine vocally throughout while remaining raw. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a group of talented musicians behind him.

I LOVE the tones on this; everything sounds so good! When asked what message he wanted listeners to take away from the album Brenizer replied:I honestly try not to write sappy songs, but sometimes wearing my heart on my sleeve gets the better of me. I’ve had a lot of chapters in life open and close the past couple of years, with plenty of stories filled with emotions that I felt I could share on this record. There are messages of love, hope, loss, anger… Some songs I wrote about life situations, some are fictional stories as well. Some may apply to me. Some may not. However, if you listen closely enough, I promise you can hear where I’ve been, and see the picture that’s been painted throughout the album.”

The Fall starts with the song “Too Late”, which, as promised, begins with a talking intro by a British philosopher before cutting into Breaking Benjamin sounding guitars. Truth be told, I wasn’t really a fan of the song. Not to say it’s a bad song, it just didn’t feel right to me as an opener, especially after hearing the record all the way through. It’s more of a filler in my opinion and I don’t believe it gives a good representation of the song writing and emotion that’s experienced throughout the remainder of the album.

Now the album’s second track “Dear Hate”, this is what I was wanting from these guys, and boy, do they deliver on this one. Brenizer’s voice has an emotional raw vibe to it and the catchiness of this song is next level! The track features a hellish hard rock scream before jumping into the song’s awesome chorus. Let’s be clear, in case you missed it… I love this song! It was first featured as part of their EP but it was definitely a smart move to bring it over to this album. It’s an insanely strong song.

Another track that was featured on the EP but found its way onto the full length is the song “Gone Too Soon” .I heard the song a year ago and could never forget it. However, this time around, after experiencing some personal things last summer, this song has really found new meaning to me. I’m not ashamed to say the track brought tears to my eyes and definitely activated some inner feelings. Kudos to Among Us because it’s been a long time since a song has made my eyes water. The song will definitely affect anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one or friend. The track is also very personal to Brenizer, who admitted to having his heart on sleeve from time to time.

Those who know me well probably know that the song “Gone Too Soon” was written about my mother not long after she passed due to illness,” recalled the songwriter. “She was and still is an incredible inspiration and role model to me, and I think that song helped give me some closure, as well as hope and love knowing she’s still here with me. I know many will be able to relate to this song on the album, as well as others.” The song is truly beautiful and it most definitely resonated with me as a listener.

Bury My Heart” is one of the heaviest songs on the album and It feels like the point on the record where Among Us really bring their current sound to the forefront ofThe Fall. Lyrics like “Don’t even recognize my face, I’m a ghost of a memory” shine light on vocalist Brenizer’s willingness to be honest with his feelings and experiences. That’s a theme throughout the album with all the lyrics very well crafted for each song and holding what feels like very personal meanings.

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One of my favorite songs on the album, of course next to the tear jerker, is by far “Never Turn Away”, which very possibly may strike some deep seeded emotion out of you that you didn’t know was there. No I didn’t cry during this song too, but the track has a really cool vibe and sonic feel to it. The chorus “What do we know about love, what do we know about peace” speaks to me about the state of the world we live in, the lack of empathy towards each other, and all the things that separate us rather than unite us. In my opinion, it’s an important message lyrically no matter how you take the meaning.

“Chemicals” starts off eerily calm, with muted pounding drums in the background, before breaking into a screaming/singing chorus “When you run away the skies all turn to grey, I let go of the fear”. The song also features a hellish sounding breakdown that makes you bob your head maybe a little too violently. It’s another really heavy and most importantly driving hard rock song and helps to round out the album.

The final song on the album is “Dream Forever”. It’s a beautifully well written and sounding acoustic track. The song shows the versatility of the band and their ability to write a great song even when slowing down the tempo. A song that shows a completely different side of the band that I haven’t heard before and I really enjoyed it, a change of pace that I found to be a great way to close out a very dramatic sounding album.

The verdict?

Overall I think Among Us have succeeded at making a solid hard rock album. The song writing is done extremely well, not just vocally, but also instrumentally. The guys don’t worry about sounding cool or writing flashy guitar parts but are more focused on authenticity. Is it groundbreaking? Well no, and that’s ok, because it’s done right and it most certainly stands up against some of the big bands that have released albums this year. I see a world of potential in this band, and I truly believe their songwriting, abilities to create a piece of work that flows in sync with one another, and success at keeping hold of the listener’s attention throughout the entire album (which is no easy feat) is what makesThe Fall a great album. As I said earlier the band’s sound is familiar but they also found a way to make rock music uniquely their own, which is really an accomplishment in itself. I look forward to blasting this album all summer long with the windows down.

I think you should check them out; my thought is you’ll end up with a kickass new band you didn’t know before.

Among Us will release The Fall on April 27th. they will have physical copies available through their online shop HERE!!! If you don’t listen to CD’s, well you’re still in luck because the album as well as their EP is available on Itunes HERE and also most other digital retailers.

Keep up with the band via their Facebook Page and look out for a new music videos and tons of shows happening this summer.

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