I was intrigued to learn that melodic hardcore four piece This Life are from Toulouse, France, as French is a melodious language and hardcore vocals are… well, hardcore vocals. Boo-urns for me, because the lyrics on the Stories of the Year EP are in English, sung in an approximation of a non-regional dialect that lacks the enunciation required to fully comprehend each individual word. While the liner notes reveal the band’s laudable philosophical and socially conscious messages, much is literallylost in translation. The vocals responsible for conveying the unfortunately minced words employ a serviceable hardcore delivery, though there’s a hint of vocal strain that strips some power from their raw aggression. The third track, “New Anthem,” pulls ahead of the pack with the addition of a catchy harmony, but the brief appearance of this dynamic element only makes its absence elsewhere on the record more conspicuous. Sonically, the EP falls easily in line with This Life’s hardcore role models in Comeback Kid, Verse, and Defeater, and each of its six tracks is composed and performed competently enough to engage diehard fans of the genre, if not memorable enough to court pickier listeners.
–Kelley O’Death (Delete Your Favorite Records, [email protected], deleteyourfavoriterecords.bandcamp.com / Never Trust An Asshole, [email protected], nevertrustanasshole.jimdo.com / KROD, [email protected], krodrecords.com / Fingers Out, fingersoutrecords.bigcartel.com)