Sound — 7
In 2001 a group of Massachusetts locals formed Bury Your Dead with the intent of bringing the mosh by any means necessary. Frustrated by their local scene being inundated with bands who were trying too hard to make their music so technical, they set out to slay crowds with nothing more than anger and aggression. After an album, several tours, and a brief hiatus, the band reconvened and recruited Mat Bruso for vocal duties. The new lineup propelled the band into the stratosphere, making Bury Your Dead a household name across the nation's hardcore scene. A few years passed, and Mat Bruso left the band to focus on more important things. The man whose name conjured up images of broken noses and bloody knuckles had gone to school to become a teacher. Myke Terry joined the band on vocals. The two albums with him saw the band's sound go through a huge shift. Softer music with catchy clean choruses had driven away much of their old fanbase. Two years after their last album, "It's Nothing Personal", Bury Your Dead have been reunited with the mosh hero that is Mat Bruso. You won't find any singing or soft instrumental breaks on "Mosh 'N' Roll". Just crushing riffs, two-steps, and beatdowns. Staying true to BYD's glory days, all of the song titles (aside from the title track, which is a redux of the final track on their first album) revolve around a central theme. This time around, instead of each track alluding to a Tom Cruise movie or a child's fairy tale, the songs are named after works by Kurt Vonnegut. It's almost as if the guys are picking up right where "Beauty And The Breakdown" left off. But can the music do the same? In a way, yes, it can. The opening track "Slaughterhouse Five" skips the hellos and handshakes. It doesn't waste any time waiting before kicking your teeth in and throwing you into a wall of sound. While there was still a discernable amount of hardcore punk influence on the first few Bury Your Dead albums, those traits have become harder to see as they've went on. Instead, a more modern mosh-centric aesthetic with hints of metalcore has emerged. There's an unnecessary amount of open string chugging going on in "Mosh 'N' Roll". It isn't just during breakdowns, either (of which there are multiple per song). There's only so many rhythmic patterns you can achieve by chugging open strings without having to resort to odd time signatures, and I'm sure that by the time you read this, most (if not all) of those patterns will have been exhausted. It sometimes leaves you to wonder why people still do it. When they're not busy chugging away, they're chugging away with dissonant leads on top. When the chugging finally stops, there's actually some pretty fun parts in the album. Mostly the two-step bits. I can't say that they're as fun as, oh, maybe, "Comeback Kid", but they definitely provide a good beat.
Lyrics — 6
Mat Bruso and Myke Terry don't really sound all too different when they're shouting into a mic. Both have deep gruff voices, and both are relatively easy to understand. But while Terry's entry into the band eventually resulted in the addition of clean singing into BYD's formula, Bruso's comeback spawned a line of merchandise that proudly sports the slogan "f--k CLEAN VOCALS". Mat's lyrics are fun to sing along to, being that they're so well-synced to the music. There's gang chants galore on this album. Everything is very rhythmic. However, I can't help but complain about the lyrics. Using the "F" word so many times isn't really necessary, and doesn't really add anything to the lyrics other than a sense of pseudo-toughness that might just be a way to save face after saying lines like "My wrists, my past disasters..." and clichs like "my blood is burning through my veins". Also, "f--k this sh-t" does in no way qualify as a line of lyrics. Not in my book, at least. It just becomes so hard to take lyrics seriously after hearing lines like that. But then again, nobody ever said the guys in Bury Your Dead were poets.
Overall Impression — 7
Bury Your Dead have never proven themselves to be among the most creative bands, but what they lack in innovation, they make up for in energy. They can't do both at once, and that's how you end up with albums like "It's Nothing Personal". That's how it's always been with them. This is, in a most literal sense, moshcore. From start to finish, every second of "Mosh 'N' Roll" is firing on all cylinders. It isn't necessarily an album I'd sit down and listen to for the sake of musical pleasure, but it would make for a nasty soundtrack to tear a pit up to. It sounds to me like every song on this album was written in order to induce maximum stagedive potential at live shows. Tracks like "Slaughterhouse Five" are like recipes for circle pits, and other tracks like "Deadeye Dick" have gang chants that would make any number of clubs implode. The variety and experimentation from their last album may be gone from BYD, but many old fans of the band will argue that this is a good thing. Bury Your Dead wasn't started to be a band that was trying to impress people or appeal to larger audiences. "Mosh 'N' Roll" sees Bury Your Dead heading back to their roots, and sees them putting making people move back on the top of their list of priorities.