Youâve got to love a band who isnât afraid to get a little Buckcherry on.
For anyone with an encyclopedic knowledge of branching microgenres in the rock world, Eighteen Visions has cast a long shadow in the decade theyâve been inactive. Having pioneered the primordial elements of 2011-era metalcore and, well, a bunch of other strains all ending in â-coreâ, a lean line-up featuring vocalist James Hart, guitarist Keith Barney and drummer Trevor Friedrich is back with a tight set of songs, largely throwbacks to their earlier releases with sporadic streaks of modern rock radio sheen.
The chugga-chugga breakdowns, the double pedal drum fills and the call-and-response rapport between Hartâs howling scream and his sneering clean vocals are all on display. Perhaps owing to the part-time nature of this reunion, the songs arenât quite as heavy as the band has been known to be in the past, but these 10 songs are plenty intense.
Take a track like âThe Disease, the Decline and Wasted Timeâ, where razor sharp riffs cut a swath through towering wall of bile and spite. Countless acts have picked up threads 18V left in their wake, but itâs refreshing to hear them pick back up where they left off with a stripped-down straightforwardness. The animosity and animalistic verses play perfectly with the snarling hook, a slick chorus where Hart, unintentionally one must assume, seems to be channeling Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows, before succumbing to a stop-start breakdown.
On other cuts, they take things back to 2002âs Vanity with the heavy use of film samples, from movies as diverse as John Carpenterâs They Live and David Lynchâs Wild at Heart. The former, namely âRowdyâ Roddy Piperâs infamous bubble gum line, prologues âUnderneath My Gunâ, a pugilistic barn-burner thatâs sure to provide the original score to someone getting a fucking headbutt in the near future. But the latterâs Nic Cage opens the aptly named âFake Leather Jacketâ, a song that swaggers considerably more than its brutal brethren, feeling more mainstream without brushing too far into sellout territory. More cynical fans may sarcastically namecheck Velvet Revolver after their first listen to this number, but thatâs a little reductive, if slightly off the mark.
The albumâs finest moment may be âPicture Perfectâ, a brash, lip-biting slice of balls-out rock. The self-satisfied hook, âPicture perfect with your rock cocaine/ Smoking glass, ainât got no shameâ, wouldnât sound out of place on the Sunset Strip in the late â80s. In between repeated moments of showing off to newer bands whose influences were influenced by 18V, itâs a ball to hear them channel the kind of scuzzy fuckjams their core fanbase might scoff at, if not openly mock. The scene has accelerated to the point that music still sounding this young comes off like aging men reliving the glory days. Fashioncore revival or not, youâve got to love a band who isnât afraid to get a little Buckcherry on an otherwise return to form reunion record.