Lyrically, darkness can be a hard one to pull off. Great lyricists like Curtis, Smith, Lanegan and Graham manage to make the depth of their despair sound cavernous and inescapable. At the same time instantly relatable. They are also able to weave imagery and metaphor in amongst the anguish. Unfortunately, for The New Low the pain they are trying to communicate here often comes across as one dimensional and repetitive.
Opener 'Get What You Give ' lays a solid foundation for what follows. The song is a metalcore blast. It's reassuringly heavy and urgent. Unfortunately, lines like ‘The answers you search for are the answers you bury inside’ sound like they could have come from a self-help seminar. ‘Burning bridges’ has a nagging, insistent chorus. However, the lyrics are a tick list of personal alienation, betrayal and abandonment. It doesn't sound genuine. It sounds like the impotent rage of someone struggling to get a decent WiFi signal.
While some of the songs can suffer from adhering to the metalcore formula, they aren't afraid to take some risks. ‘My Own Way’ balances the beautiful and the ugly perfectly. There is a tension between the clean vocals and harsh guttural deathcore growls. The band also adds some ghostly keyboard atmospherics that enhance the song. Similarly, ‘Continuance’ slows to a beautiful piano refrain. It is flourishes like this that show what they are capable of.
Sadly, the reliance on perennial teenage angst can make this album quite exhausting. The lyrics will look good on your High School English folder but are sure not built to last. Not exactly a new low, more like a second hand one.