Fearless Records band Get Scared has been a band who can do no wrong, in my eyes. This Utah band has been seamlessly blending theatrical elements, throwing in small hints of electronics and using their ability to write catchy hooks to the best of their ability. What you may not know is that this band has been through hell and back to get to where they are now. The idea of being a band who prides themselves on conceptual works can be both well-received, while being hated at the same time. With the release of their debut EP Cheap Tricks and Theatrics, they found themselves an audience in those who enjoy a theatrical post-hardcore sound. With each release getting bolder, darker and more experimental, they quickly set themselves apart from others in the genre, becoming a force to be reckoned with, hell-bent on taking the stage and blowing minds. With the release of their latest album, Demons, we’re treated, first-hand, to the struggles that this band has seen and find a deeper place in our hearts for these Layton natives. 10 tracks of the most brutally-honest lyrics we’ve heard from the band, a beautiful mix of melody and aggression and simple instrumentals make this album one of the best, if not THE best, albums they’ve put forth. So, how does it fair against the rest of their discography? Well, to answer it simply… it almost sounds like an entirely new band!
As the siren in “Buried Alive” comes in, you may roll your eyes. After all, intros with sirens are hardly something that hasn’t been done. In fact, to be honest, this track could have definitely been done without it and done just as well. However, the combination of the sirens drone and the explosive nature that this opening track provides us with is perfectly executed. This is a track that teaches you that it’s okay to make mistakes and, though people may look down on you for it, we have to make mistakes to realize what’s right and wrong. You may get buried alive by the things you do and say by others but it’s all in the interest of bettering yourself in the end. It’s in human nature to make mistakes and, no matter what happens, you’ll always get past them. Especially being in a band, you’ve got to watch every little thing you do because you’re in the public eye and scrutinized for every little detail. Whether it be the media, fans, or the general public… you’re always being watched. Even so, you’re going to make mistakes and you’ll get past it. This is GS telling you that they KNOW they’ve made mistakes but they are not going to let those mistakes define their future. Vocalist Nick Matthews effortlessly brings forth the venom in his voice to those who constantly judge him and the rest of the band by their past. In addition, his clean vocals give us the sense that this band has risen up against it and will not stop until they’ve reached every goal they set for themselves.
The track that follows, “Suffer” (video below) shows a slow decline in the mental state of our main character. He feels as if no one is there to help him, rather he wants to leave destruction in his wake, making all who have ever wronged him suffer the way that he had to. He’s daring all who want to stand in his way, warning that the only way to stop him is to take him out. If you’ve ever been hurt by someone, whether by betrayal, deceit or in any other way, you’ve likely felt your primal nature take hold, vengeance being your only goal. This track embodies that.
As we’re led through the next 3 tracks, “Addict,” “Under My Skin” and “Demons” we begin to feel the theatrics take over again. These tracks, especially, truly set the stage for what this album embodies. We see our main character slowly slip into insanity, letting his inner demons overtake him and becoming the embodiment of all that is wicked. Eventually, we’re introduced to the devil himself in the appropriately titled track “The Devil’s in the Details.” As our main character is overcome by his insanity, the evil one incarnate uses this to his advantage, calling out to him and letting him know that he’s there to shelter him from all who would harm him. He begins to see images of the devil calling to him, tempting him to slip further into his addiction, effectively leading him down a suicidal path. These 4 tracks, in succession, are definitely where it starts to really take a dark turn.
“What If I’m Right” sees our main character, who has become a paranoid runaway. He has the feeling that the search party won’t last long, if there even is one to begin with. To cure his paranoia, he begs for one more fix. One last high and he’ll never be heard from again. If you haven’t guessed, this is where the evil entity from the previous track really begins to get into his head, seemingly winning the war he’s managed to wage within our main character. He starts to talk about how he has a bad feeling overwhelming him and the outcome of it all, if he turns out to be right.
“Take A Bow” is where the story begins to take a more personal direction. This is where we begin to learn that the main character is a father. I can’t tell if the child finds him or if they’re just reflecting on how their relationship with their father has been thus far, so bear with me here. When he left, he left the child alone, starving and forced to fend for himself/herself. No matter how much hate that he/she feels because of this, it’s a way of letting the father know that there is still hope for a recovery and that they will do whatever they can to help that cause. So this scene goes one of two ways: The child finds their father, strung out and nearly dead in the street and vows to help him recover OR it’s a point of reflection that, if their father ever returns, they vow to help him sober up. Either way “Take A Bow” is a shot at the horrible life that the child has been forced to live as a result of his addiction. The track that follows “Relax, Relapse” is the dialogue between the father and the child, as he begins his road to recovery. It touches on the struggles when trying to recover from an addiction and the dangers of relapsing, the paranoia that you can never recover and the low points you hit throughout the recovery process. It’s also the father reflecting on the damage he has caused, knowing that what he’s done is wrong and feeling deep remorse for it. “Second Guessing” is where he begins to second guess himself. What if he can’t recover? What if he’s beyond saving? What will happen to those he loves?
The final track, “R.I.P.” is the sad realization that, no matter how hard they fought, the child lost their battle to help in the recovery effort. The father was simply too far gone to return from the point he was at. Left with a deep hate, anger and loss of faith.. they begin to question the end. They lose faith in religion, caught in a blind rage… left wondering why? Why would their father be so selfish? Why would he let himself get to a point where he couldn’t be helped? It’s a way to show you how cruel life can be and how, try as you might, you can’t help those who don’t, first, want to help themselves.
While I will admit, this album took a good bit of time to grow on me. It’s easily one of my favorite albums of the year, not just for the music but for the incredible way that this dark concept is put forth. Demons shows a truly darker side of the band and it makes me wonder if this particular concept is based on personal experience or if it’s just something that came to them… either way, it’s very powerful and it teaches you not to take those you love for granted. This album is not for the weak of heart but if you want a powerful album with an equally powerful message, look no further than Demons. Be sure to pick up your copy, out now on Fearless Records!
“Suffer” (Official Music Video)