Nashville’s hidden treasure, Idle Threat, is taking the scene by storm with their go-getter attitude and raw, honest talent. Just days after they released their sophomore album, Grown Tired, the band hosted their annual DIY festival, Threat Fest, at the Smyrna Railroad Depot, joined by a number of local and national acts. Their fans packed in and sang every word of their new record back to them, a statement in itself considering it had just been released. On the album, the transitions from section to section are abrasive, but, here at home in their punk-rock-hardcore genre, it works and embraces the imperfect. The production holds a nostalgic disposition that throws the listener back to the days where dark lyrics and raw, earsplitting guitars somehow healed all wounds.
The album begins with catchy riffs and passionate vocals in “Fathers.” Ernie Fabian captures the classic emo essence as he screams, “I’ll have your memory forever and I’ll never let it go.” Co-vocalist Zeke McKinney ties the sound together with a clean tone that longs for company. In the midst of all the aggressive, crashing tones comes a much-needed ballad, “Ghosts.” The drums find their way back to a rhythm here that lets the listener breathe, a well-thought out way to organize the album’s track list. McKinney’s melodies are remarkably singable, reminiscent of Taking Back Sunday or The Used.
After the groove breaks to inhale, it releases into the cornerstone anthem of the album. The tail end of “Ghosts” gives way to a second movement in “Colorblind.” McKinney begins the song with a single voice and a low, carefully picked guitar. Then, as he sings, “Now I just sit still and don’t even try to fight back,” he is met with a wall of gang vocals that throws the door open for the huge draft of guitars to flood in. The song sways to a waltz, providing a nice change of pace for the listener, perfectly placed in the record.
From here, the album seems to grow in intensity but settle in sound. The chords move from driving to splashing and the vocals ring out longer. The lyrics, continue to drip with passion. The album ends with the title track, which climbs you to the top of the mountain Idle Threat has composed to take a look at the beauty below. That’s where they leave you: exhausted and satisfied, looking back at the start of a long journey home.
While there isn’t a specific sound to classify this band, the closest seems to be hardcore punk. Regardless of classification, this band specializes in making a listener ache to feel emotion behind their lyricism. Between the painfully honest songwriting and classic emo/hardcore sound, Idle Threat may just find a home in the next generation of beloved favorites.