Beartooth is everything that is good about the metalcore and hardcore multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Caleb Shomo.
Shomo started the band on his own as a musical project after his former band, Attack! Attack! disbanded. The debut album, EP Sick was released in 2013 and, since then, Beartooth has never looked back. Their two albums, Disgusting and Aggressive were met with critical acclaim as their basic and melodic approach to music has garnered many fans. Beartooth’s songs are full of emotion and speak to the world through their hard-hitting melodic anthems.
Honourable mentions: ‘Body Bag’, ‘Aggressive’, ‘Fair Weather Friend’, ‘Beaten In Lips’, ‘Censored’, ‘Sick of Me’ and ‘King of Anything’.
5. I Have A Problem
The ferocity and aggression in this song really hit you hard from the start and just build up to a hardcore explosion in the verse. Shomo really shines in the verses and chorus as he screams, ‘I found my vice. It lives in a bottle and wants me to die. But I wanna be alive’, with muted guitars and cymbals pounding. The song then goes into a typical hardcore punk beat with vicious screaming before the melodic chorus kicks.
The guitar riffs in this song are massive and really add to the track’s hard-hitting message about alcohol abuse and the devastating effect thereof. Shomo’s lyrics are brilliant and typically describe his struggles: ‘My stomach is bleeding, but I’m still drinking. A hole inside me is now more than a metaphor. I guess a bottle can’t save my life. I guess a bottle can’t tame my mind’. The song also ends on a hardcore note as Shomo sings ‘Substance therapy never set me free’ at full tilt. A superb song that makes you want to destroy things and throw things all around the room.
4. In Between
This is probably one of Beartooth’s best sing-along songs with a catchy ‘woo-oh-oh-oh-oh’ in the beginning of the song with a great rhythm guitar as accompaniment. Shomo and the band then set the pace with a hardcore-based verse. The chorus is one of the high points with Lumley and Bradbury’s guitar playing and Shomo’s melodic and positive vocals setting the theme for the song: ‘Everybody gets high. Everybody gets low. Life can be such overdose. Up on the mountain, I see down below. It’s easy to lose yourself I know. In the in-between’.
The positivity of the song is further extended in the excellent bridge which has head-banging guitar parts and another awesome message to stick it out, no matter what the situation.
The drums from Connor Denis really shine in this track about standing up for yourself and being yourself. The snare roll, build-up and the crushing beat in the verses really carry the song brilliantly. Embrace individuality is what Shomo seems to state in his lyrics: ‘Maybe I wasn’t like all the normal kids, I was born just a little bit different. I tried to fit in I got sick of it.’
The bridge is also the best part of the song as the pace drops ever so gently before the djent-like guitar comes in and steals the show. If you don’t headbang at this point, then you need to wake up. A simple but really effective riff Z something that Beartooth really does well. There are no frills, just straight-up emotional, in your face music.
‘Who knew you’d be hated for being who you are, and be a big target for all the insecure.’ This is how this song starts as Shomo starts to sing about being hated and under-appreciated by those closest to you. This is a fantastically written song with a soaring sing-along chorus that typifies Beartooth’s sound. The lightning-fast guitar work and drums in the verse really combine well before the chorus urges you to sing along to every word. The bridge is also a great pace changer with the guitar once again standing out before Shomo lets out a huge scream: ‘Try to scream but you never will listen. Didn’t forget and you’re not forgiven,’ that really channels his emotion.
1. The Lines
Soaring vocals, hardcore riffs and a great message are all combined in this brilliant song that deserves to be number one. The guitar riff nears perfections before Shomo lets out a typical scream in the intro. This combination is carried forward in the verse, with the music and Shomo’s lyrics playing off each other perfectly. You can truly hear the emotion in his screams when he says, ‘What’s going on? When I look into the mirror there’s another gun.’ The other excellent lyrics that round off this song are ‘What is the poison inside of me The sickness in my head’ and ‘When I tell you I’ll be fine. I still want you by my side. Please just try to read between the lines. Where’s my comfort in the undefined? Please just try to read between the lines’. This song is all about acceptance, understanding and how to overcome life through those around you – they just need to listen.