Review: Inked in Blood – Sometimes We Are Beautiful

Label: Facedown Records

Released: October 2, 2007

If I had to make up a name for Inked in Blood’s music, it would be “pop-punk-core.” They play a brand of hardcore that is a strange marriage of the Descendants and Gorilla Biscuits and they have varying success with it.

On one hand, Sometimes We Are Beautiful is typical of hardcore over the last decade or so. The growling vocals and choppy, chunky music with churning rhythms and metallic riffs is nothing new. However, Inked in Blood do a better job than most of their peers of incorporating melody. The trade-off however is a lack of punch. Some of that can be blamed on mediocre production which takes some of the crispness out of their sound, but a lot of it falls in their lap. They haven’t quite brought the two sounds together. They clearly nail the melodic side as evidenced on the indie rock delicacy of “Instrumental” and the sappy emo of “This Moment” and they have moments of unbridled hardcore as well, but the two never seem to quite meet. Of course, even the near misses aren’t without merit and the album overall is listenable. Better yet, it’s very nature is hopeful and that positivity is contagious. Lyrically, it’s open and honest without being dramatic, which further buoys its optimism.

Sometimes We Are Beautiful might not be the answer to the future of hardcore, but it could be standing at the first steps on that road. It clearly lays groundwork for growth which makes Inked in Blood a band to watch.

Rating: 6/10


About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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