So…Girl On Fire. Some of you may recall I reviewed their EP Revenge a few months back. Well here they are with their debut full-length album Not Broken, out today via Century Media Records. It’s a good, balanced mix of rockers and some slower stuff. Oh, and good news…they haven’t lost any of the emotion or edge since the EP!
“The Takedown”, first single and opening track comes at you with everything it’s got. These guys can rock, and they’re not shy about letting you know it. “Reminds Me of You” starts out quietly before the angst-filled chorus ramps it up a notch, and “Losing My Identity” goes down the same path. There’s a recurring theme of love and heartbreak on this record, but for the most part, the music doesn’t suffer for it.
The band rocks out a bit more with “One Step Away”, with some shades of early Three Days Grace in it. And that’s cool, because they’re a great band, too. “Monster” was an instant favorite, just because the guitar tone, and singer Austin Held’s angry vocals on the chorus really resonated with me. It was definitely the right move becoming a two-guitar band, because live this one is going to burn! The solo is definitely the best one on the album, and that rhythm behind it just makes it ballsier.
“Automatic Hurt” and “Ready To Fight” were two more instant favorites. Both of them have a great tempo, and everyone is playing their asses off. But for all the hits so far, there are bound to be a few misses. While destined to be one such hit radio-wise, “Believe” was one that I liked, but didn’t love. You ever hear a song, and know they’re probably pouring their hearts out in it, but for some reason you just don’t feel a connection? That’s how I felt about it. Not that it’s a bad song, just wasn’t for me. Same goes for the title track, “Not Broken”. There was a definite Linkin Park sound here, and I just felt like I’ve heard it before.
“Break the Chains” gets us back into ass-kicking territory in a big hurry, with a powerhouse chorus and speedy pace that definitely warrants repeat listening. When this band finds their “oomph” on a song, the results are pretty damn good. The strange and unique sounds on “Cut” make it another one that should turn some heads. Closer “Run” is a nice way to end things on an acoustic note, strings and all, and is another shining moment on the disc. One thing is certain, Girl On Fire are sure to please fans of the bands from the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, and today. I think the best way to sum up Not Broken is with something Austin Held said himself:
“Everyone experiences ups and downs life, but the ups and downs are what make life worth living. We have all looked broken, and we have all felt broken – but we are not broken.”