Norma Jean have been on the scene for a good amount of time, standing as one of the longest running bands of the post-hardcore genre. They have been one of the most influential bands of the genre as well. They have stood the test of time in a scene where some bands leave just as quickly as they came. With their new album, Wrongdoers, Norma Jean have again proven why they deserve that credit.
The opening track, “Hive Minds,” displays a different vocal sound. While vocalist Cory Brandan has always had a unique sound to his voice, a different delivery style seems to be placed here. Rather than familiar screamed vocals, Brandan shouts and makes every word count. It is true passion, and gives the vocals even more importance.
Brandan also takes on clean vocals in this album, with solid results. The clean vocals are a surprise to the listener, as they do not come in until “Wrongdoers.” Much like his unclean vocals, Brandan’s singing is focused more on passion than being polished. It is reminiscent of Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno: interesting and full of substance.
Norma Jean have also implemented interesting guitar techniques in this album. The riffs are hardly dry or boring. The experimental and skillful work on the album keeps it moving and exciting. Each song is distinct because of the musicianship of the band, and songs such as “Wrongdoers” and “Sword In Mouth, Fire Eyes” show the best guitarists Chris Day and Jeff Hickey have to offer.
Wrongdoers is an example of Norma Jean at their best. Though they have been established for a while, it is clear the outfit has staying power and plenty of ideas to stick around. The album is unique, passionate and full of that heavy sound their fans know and love.
You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.
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