Sound — 10
The Southern California band Letter Kills was formed just in August, 2002. However, in march of 2003 Letter Kills already had their first record done -- a debut EP inclusive only three songs -- "Don't Believe," "Radio Up" and "Clock is Down." It's enough to say that the band earned a reputation with just these 3 songs and a few explosive live shows -- straight after EP release the band became one of the best new bands to watch out in 2004. All of those songs mentioned above appear on the debut band's major release The Bridge. "The record actually was really easy to make because we wrote everything when we first started as a band, and toured for a year before we went into the studio," Shelton comments. "Once we got into the studio, it was really just a matter of presenting the songs with the same energy as we do live." On of the best moments on the album is the guitars -- Timothy Cordova and Dustin Lovelis did a special job. Every track is loaded with a raw and intense power of many solos, remarkable licks and grungy riffs that make you brains strained for hours. Besides, not many can match the power coupled with catchiness that Letter Kills expose. All in all, you will have a nice time listening to the album, you don't need to exert your ears to not pass a moment while guitarist will finally start doing something -- it's all there, just relax and listen to the real guitar tunes. Just like I've died and went to the heavens. Ok, back to the ground. Listening to the record it's impossible to stay indifferent to the Letter Kills energy. All the tracks are imbued with grinding and abrasive guitars and pained and emotional vocals. But besides that you can hear some slow and melodic themes on the album. Here is a small breakdown of what you can expect from The Bridge: 01. Lights Out - hard-sounding start of the album. With this track band point out the general spirit of whole record. This song shows the guitarist's skills perfectly. There are metal-like guitar riffs and screaming Shelton's vocals. 02. Don't Believe - the guitar parts make an impression. Perfect interaction all of the misicians especially the guitarists. Like all songs on The Bridge it eventually leads into an anthem-driven rock chorus that Letter Kills will soon be well known for. This track is kind of a trademark for the band -- it was featured on their first EP, and now it was re-recorded to earn even more level of perfection. 03. Whatever It Takes - as usual there is an outstanding work of Cordova and Lovelis. This track shows the Shelton's ability to adjust to their songs. Besides, you'll find a catchy final guitar solo. 04. Brand New Man - perfect Shelton's vocal patterns and probably it's a best track on the album. 05. Clock Is Down - one of the slower and more melodic tracks. It shows a Shelton's lyrical depth and ability of the band to write a melodic song. 06. Time Marches On - track has awesome drumming and sweet guitar. Also it features a beautiful guitar solo between choruses. 07. Carry You - excellent example that the guys can play very loud. This track has the high-energy with its great chorus. 08. Hold My Heart (Part Two) - another slow song with melancholy rhythm. It provides a beautiful look into the mellower side and shows the peacefulness of Letter Kills. It shows that Letter Kills do have diversity in the setlist and can make your heart burst even without wild riffs. 09. When You're Away - looks like an old hard rock. 10. Radio Up - this track sounds cleane and has a lot of positive energy. Besides there is an exelent lirycs. 11. Shot To The Chest - it's a mixture of emotional Shelton's voice leading up to agressive chorus. It's a perfect song both musically and lyrically. 12. Hold My Heart (Part One) - the last track. Beautiful melodic love song. Unusual ending of fast and powerful album.
Lyrics — 8
On The Bridge, Shelton proved himself as a talented singer/songwriter. He shows that he can not only scream as an old-school punk rocker, but he can enchant the listeners with his own beautiful melodic and emotional voice as well. In regards to the lyrics -- in some tracks you can find a hint at the Christian tendency especially in "Lights Out" and "Carry You." Overall the band's topics reflect the mainstream themes. Nevertheless the lyrics aren't so understandable but have cryptic messages which require some time to get into.
Overall Impression — 10
Letter Kills blend classic rock, new-age punk, emo and hardcore all together to deliver the most impressive musical experience you will ever get. They have built The Bridge between all imaginable sub-genres and made hard-edged, ruthless album fueled with a pure power of rock. Letter Kills is one of the best acts of 2004, hands down. Unfortunately, Letter Kills have just one full-length release to date. And this is the only bad thing about the album. Though even these twelve tracks featured on The Bridge will be enough to dilute the monotonous rhythms of mainstream rock. You can listen to the album again and again and each play will deliver another brick from The Bridge which has been built by the band.