Sound: Former Thieves is a hardcore band from Iowa. Their sound may remind listeners of Black Flag style of hardcore (more riff oriented, like "My War") than say Madball or Agnostic Font style that most hardcore bands these days take influence (or straight up copy) from. With this, "The Language We Speak" makes it a little bit of bumpy listening experience since the band like to experiment with odd sounding riffs. Some songs like "First World Blues" just take to long to get to the point and some will probably find it annoying. Their experimenting doesn't completely back fire though, with "Brilliant Exceptions" benefiting from its odd opening making the verse hit the listener harder then expected.
While the band may experiment with the riffs here and there, they never stray too far from the traditional structure. "Dead Horses Are Turned Into Glue" grabs the listeners attention and holds it pretty well till "First World Blues" and from then on its trying to hold you like a wet bar of soap. "Trust Funds Kids" is short punch from a professional boxer to the gut that leaves an impression while the title track is a punch from a 4 year old wearing six pairs of socks over his fist, which is sad to say as I feel like there was plenty of potential for it to be a pretty kick ass ending. // 7
Lyrics and Singing: The vocalist shouts are very odd as the riffs they write. His shouts, well, are shouts but they come out so clear and almost every word can be heard perfectly. I find myself wondering if he was just talking through a filter at certain points in the album. I'm not saying it is a bad thing by any means though. It is nice not to have to read along with the lyrics for once.
Speaking of lyrics, they are ok. Theres nothing mind blowing here to praise, with a line here and there that stick out like:
"Pray to your God
Before he's gone for good"
in "Trust Fund Kids" and the overall theme in "What's Real And What's Not", which helps push the very confused, distorted feel the song has. // 7
Impression: Former Thieves have made an album that does stick out of the sea of other hardcore bands. "The Language That We Speak" has plenty of shinning moments to listen for. Songs like "Bad Friends" are not one of those moments and will make you wonder what the band was going for when you hit the one minute mark. Oh well, they took a risk with their sound and as far as I'm concern, it is paying off for them. Hopefully with a bit of maturing they can incorporate their odd riffs in more tasteful ways later down the road.
For fans of: Black Flag & Stray From The Path. // 8