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| 20 March 2020 | Reply

Label: The Century Family, Inc.

Release Date: March 13, 2020

Rating: 89%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Stitched Up Heart recently dropped their sophomore effort and this disc grows on me more and more with every listen.  Disc opener “Lost” is a bit heavier track, but the thunderous bottom end gives the track and disc punch.  The vocals are an awesome counterpart to the musical accompaniment and the contrast of lead singer Mixi’s vocals with special guest Sully Erna is a cool bonus.  The gruff male vocal is different, but suits the material.  “This Skin” builds on the heavy bottom end form the first track, thanks to Decker’s drums and Randy’s bass lines.  The chorus is contagious and draws you in time and time again.  The song is built for the stage and should be a highlight of the bands live show.  “Warrior” is a great track that delivers a cool message that is anchored and supported accordingly by the musical accompaniment, but as a vet I have to be honest – this song hits home due to the bands alignment of this track to Veterans and their charitable efforts for Guitars 4 Vets.  “Dirty Secrets” is one of the best tracks on the disc, thanks to the swirl of guitars, bass, and vocals.  The drums keep the track anchored, but the mix of Mixi and the stringed instruments is a pleasure to listen to.  The chorus is fun and is an interesting twist of a pop vibe with the metal sound the band brings to the table.  “Bones” slows the pace, at least through the intro.  We are given a slight glimpse at the lighter side of Mixi’s vocals.  This ballad is interesting in that strips everything back through the verses and first chorus, but picks up steam through the second chorus and into the bridge.  Disc closer “My Demon” is a great rock track that leans into mainstream rock territory, thanks to the solid rhythm section, the production, the killer riffs, and more fun vocals.  I cannot help but do some headbanging while listening to this one regardless of what I happen to be doing at the time.

“Problems” is another track that benefits form the sonic contrast of Mixi’s vocals and the heavy-handed bottom end with guitar riffs and solos swirled into the mix.  The lyrics are delivered perfectly, with the vocal nuances in the background adding a little something to the songs overall vibe.  “Straitjacket” is a catchy track that gives us some cool guitar parts from Merritt as well as some searing vocals from Mixi.  The cadence of this track is killer and gets the blood pumping, the head banging, and the foot tapping… possibly all three at the same time.  This track is everything that is right about this disc and is a cool reflection of the band and their sound.  Title track “Darkness” has a different vibe and groove to it from first note to last, but the song is a cool deviation from the path cut by the other tracks on the collection.  The song builds through the intro and verse into an anthemic chorus.  The song should get hands in the air in a live situation.  “Dead Roses” builds on the vibe and groove of “Bones,” but with added punch.  The vocals and production come together nicely, while the guitars, bass, and drums take their individual parts and run while remaining a part of the whole.  Mixi outdoes herself, as her vocals seem to add a dimension of importance.  “Crooked Halo” is the biggest right turn for the band and disc.  The song is good, but not a guitar or rhythm section driven rocker like most of the tracks here.  What we do get is an unobstructed listen to Mixi’s vocals as she runs through various emotions.  This disc is a welcome addition to my collection and I can’t wait to check them out playing this material when touring resumes and they swing through Detroit.  – My Demon

Tracklisting: Lost – This Skin – Problems – Warrior – Straitjacket – Dirty Secrets – Darkness – Bones – Dead Roses – Crooked Halo – My Demon

Lineup: Mixi (vocals) – Decker (drums) – Merritt (guitar) – Randy (bass)






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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