In the age of social media where people want to share every meal they have with you and offer a running commentary on the weather you can see outside your own window, it is surprising to find that there is next to nothing out there about My Iron Lung online; no biography, just a Facebook page that highlights their strong touring schedule and video releases for the singles Commonwealth and In Defence of Drowning taken from this album Relief. After feeling a little frustrated, it dawned on me that this is perhaps the best way to review an album. It is all about the music and nothing else. In no way can you make any other form of judgement consciously or subconsciously.
What I enjoy about this release is its intricate delicacy for what is generally a rather aggressive genre. The album is a great blend of lots of different sounds that in my experience don’t normally appear on a hardcore release and this is evident in the first song, which was also the first single Commonwealth. Light guitar lines intersperse with driving chords that reflect the vocal lines brilliantly, allowing the lyrics to really come to the forefront of the song. It helps that My Iron Lung’s vocalist’s screams are easy to understand, they are clear, he does not push the scream trying to be something it isn’t, something he isn’t capable of doing. The lyrics to Commonwealth instantly remind me of a friend I know in a UK metalcore band. They provide hope where someone may feel there is none.
I keep waking up feeling the same way
Like nothing else is going to change
Cause it’s been so long
And I tried so hard
Any chance I get
But the answers are out there
Hiding in the silence
And it’s our job to find them…..
My friend seems to have found the answers, but it goes to show how dual so many life experiences are and how, through interpretation by the individual, songs can have different meanings and be relevant to different people. This for me comes through honest, careful and well thought out song writing and My Iron Lung seem to have that.
On tracks like Conflict of Interest, the breakdown is a strip back that allows the guitar to be exposed, rather than being an all hands to the instrumental powerhouse of a thunderous riffage bombardment to the ears.
The lack of perfection in tracks like Day Dream makes this a more raw and thus more real release. We don’t need to auto tune or fine tune everything when what a band is about (as seems the case with My Iron Lung) is playing live.
A particular favourite is second single In Defence of Drowning. At 1 minute 44 seconds it is half the length of many commercial radio hits, but does and says in those 104 seconds far more than many of those Top 20 hits combined.
Grand Scheme has a musically light opening that builds throughout the song and like Conflict of Interest has a lighter breakdown, with strong work from the rhythm section.
Often in album reviews (and I am guilty of this myself) drummers get little mention, but I cannot review this album without commending My Iron Lung’s drummer whoever he is. He plays like a Picasso painting. It is disciplined yet full of colour and offers up something divergent from his contemporaries. The drum rolls spill over the whole kit. There is no excessive symbol use. The best example on this album is the song Monument. It is so great to listen to and my favourite track on the album. The guitars seem to take a supportive role in this song, it is all about the man at the back.
“I keep losing faith in everything” screams the vocalist on final song Save for a Pocket of Warmth, however any faith they or you may have lost should be restored in one listen of this release. Relief is that sign to change your mind.
2. Conflict of Interest
3. Hard Season
4. The Darkest Path
5. Day Dream
6. In Defence of Drowning
8. Grand Scheme
10. Save for Pocket of Warmth