Overall Score: 9/10 Songs : 9/10 lyrics: 9/10 replay value: 9/10 Pros: Another instant classic from a band that never puts a foot wrong Cons: Virtually nothing
Beartooth are one of those bands I adore. Not only are they one of the best bands of their ilk musically, but frontman Caleb Shomo is one of the most brutally honest lyricists and endlessly endearing frontmen in the whole game. For well over a decade now they have perfected their particular brand of mental health aware metalcore. In that time they have cultivated a dedicated fanbase and amassed a catalogue overflowing with modern classics. To put it simply, they are as real as it gets and they never miss.
The Surface is their 5th album and the follow up to 2021’s Below, which incidentally was the bands heaviest and rawest to date. This new album isn’t a complete departure from what Beartooth has been doing, but it’s a much more diverse album that sees them paint with all the colours in their particular pallette.
It seems to weird to say, but there seems to be a much more positive, hopeful message spread throughout The Surface. It feels less like ripping off a band aid and staring at the wound below than some of their previous work. Riptide is a huge rallying cry with a sumptuous chorus that is perfectly crafted for live shows. Doubt Me is a snarling stomper that wouldn’t feel out of place on Aggressive or Disgusting.
The Better Me does the pop meets metalcore thing better than other bands that have tried it. It is the most outrageously infectious Beartooth has ever sounded, and the addition of Hardy compliments the whole thing nicely.
Love Myself & Sunshine! continue the trend with sublime pop hooks melded on to bone crunching riffs. No one veers between the heavy and the heartfelt better than Beartooth when they are at their best.
What’s Killing You is the albums first true gutpunch, a desperate plea to someone you feel like you’re losing to something you can’t stop. It’s instantly relatable, deeply emotional and is bolstered by another killer chorus.
Look The Another Way is a tender, fragile acoustic driven track that cuts deep. Caleb lays himself completely bare. It’s fraught, heartbreaking and is the albums centerpiece. Showing that you don’t have to have to have giant riffs to still be heavy.
What Are You Waiting For feels like an update on 80s arena rock with the bands on unique spin added in. I Was Alive closes the album out on a high. Another hugely melodic banger that sends the listener out on a positive note.
Just when you think Beartooth have reached the peak and come into their own as a band, they go and one up themselves. Each new album manages to be better than the one before it. They truly are the people’s band. They manage to make music that is deeply personal, excruciatingly honest, accessible, catchy as hell and still heavier than most of what their peers are doing. This is another instant classic from a band that seems incapable of delivering anything less.
The Surface Is out now via RedBull Records