Sound — 9
My Ticket Home are a new addition to the Rise Records roster, but all the traditional Rise elements are most certainly here: Drop tuned guitars, screamed vocals mixed with clean singing, and of course, breakdowns. My Ticket Home, unlike some of the bands on the label, avoid being just another generic copy of other Metalcore acts by adding flavor and layers to their music. For an EP, the songwriting is very mature, and the transitions always seem natural and flow well (see the chorus/breakdown transition in Surroundings). While the guitar work isn't the kind of fretboard mastery that turns heads, it is competent and written extremely well. Melody lines lace the songs, adding a bit more flavor than just chugged open B strings. One of the biggest pros for this album is how every song manages to sound like it's own individual piece instead of sucumbing to the same monotenous blending of songs that most metalcore albums face. While there are stright up heavy hitters, like Surroundings, Dead Weight, and Desertion, pieces with atmosphere make this EP worth the purchase. Refuge In Purpose starts deceptively calm, with a fading in drum solo, only to pick back up into a full out mosh storm, and the title track is one of the best calm numbers I've heard in ages, both musically and lyrically.
Lyrics — 8
The first song, Surroundings, hits from the get-go with a line that summarizes the lyrical tone of this album: "This life wont be another failed attempt, a life wasted." While remaining heavy for the most part, My Ticket Home take a mostly positive route when it comes to lyrics, choosing themes of personal struggle, self reflection, and deception. One of my personal favorite lines come from the song Half Hearted: "Tell me, how do the lies taste in your mouth when you speak? And how does it feel when they crumble beneath your feet?" As far as vocal competence, the screamer is very simmilar to Caleb Shomo (the new Attack Attack! vocalist, who makes a guest vocal contribution on Dead Weight), but he has a bit more range, being able to hit higher screams than Caleb ever could. The clean vocalist, to me, is a highlight in this band. He has his own sound, and could be an instantly recognizable vocalist due to his style. For a true sampling of how awesome the cleans are, check the song The Opportunity To Be.
Overall Impression — 8
Many compare My Ticket Home to Attack Attack! on many levels, but I believe that they are far superior to the afformentioned band. Not only do MTH incorperate transitions far better, but are vocally and musically superior without all the electronics that AA! rely so heavily on. Caleb Shomo produced this album, and his influence does show up a few times, but the band is still strong and very creative. The only thing I hate about this EP is the obvious fact that is is just an EP. This sampling of what MTH can do has most certainly pumped me and got me ready to see what they can do with a full-length release. Recommended for fans of: new Attack Attack!, Oh, Sleeper, Bury Tomorrow, good, different metalcore.