Sound — 8
Brisbane post-hardcore outfit The Amity Affliction's debut album Severed Ties catchy melodies, screamed lead vocals and thick, melodic riffs are the order of the day, with a subtle electronic element now being thrown into the mix, all of which pulls together to form one cohesive sound.
Lyrics — 9
Lead vocalist Joel Birch's scream sound more mature and developed as opposed to the "seagull screams" on the bands 2005 self-titled EP release. Bass player and clean vocalist Ahren Stringer's voice is better than ever, singing catchy soothing melodies and with vocal contributions from Michael Crafter (I Killed the Prom Queen, Carpathian, Confession), Matthew Wright (The Getaway Plan), JJ Peters (I Killed the Prom Queen, Deez Nuts) and Helmet Roberts (A Daylight Curse). The lyrics of the song shy away from the stron anti-suicide trend of the bands 2007 EP High Hopes.
Overall Impression — 8
With a vocal contribution from A Daylight Curse front man Helmet Roberts, the aptly titled I Heart Roberts gets things off to a great start, the song's chorus giving the listener a taste of what the rest of the record has to offer. Snitches Get Stitches shows just how far Amity's song writing has come since their last release. There's nothing worse than a band shying away from who they are, so it's refreshing to hear a song like Do You Party? a track that loudly and proudly declares that the band aren't too concerned by strangers having an opinion on their after show behaviour. Poison Pen Letters first made an appearance on the State Of Affairs split that Amity were a part of in 2004, the song's inclusion being more than justified by it's catchier than a cold chorus and heavy mid-section. Lead single Fruity Lexia is one of the strongest tunes the band has committed to record to date, with Ahren taking the group's already impressive songwriting to another level, while the haunting So You Melted shows off another side to the already multifaceted six-piece. A demo of Jesse Intense was put online earlier this year, however the re-recoded version (complete with vocals from Michael Crafter) is a far superior model to the original, while The Blair Snitch Project sees the band mixing Ahren's soothing melodies with the punk beats of yesteryear. Amity's cover of Love Is A Battlefield is something I could have done without. I'm sure the band had their reasons, and no doubt the song will illicit a great response in the live setting, but I can't help but feel it tarnishes an otherwise floorless record. Lucky then that the final tune is Stairway To Hell, with yet another guest vocalist making their presence felt, the person in question being Deez Nuts main-man JJ Peters.