For all the insinuated, faith-riddled struggles in the metalcore world, The Beautiful Mistake’s new EP is a mainline message that needs no decoder ring. In full the interest of full transparency, listening to this in the midst of a pandemic does force me to hear the words with a new ear, the plight feeling more real and the pleading more palpable. Reality reigns on You’re Not Broken. I Am, and it’s not often an album plays on life in the way that it actually turns out. We all like a happy ending, but as The Beautiful Mistake has embraced, sometimes moving forward just has to be enough.
The songs on the EP are all stylistically different; whether that’s due to a desire to play with different sounds, provide some texture to specific moods (or maybe both?) doesn’t really matter. It’s a good selection. “Monument,” an elongated introduction to the EP, provides a steady easement into a heavy story. Generally speaking, it’s about the collapse of the church body and how over time it has fallen so far from what it was meant to be. It’s a well-chosen representation into the approach the work will take, and the immediate follow-up, “East of Eden,” has super grungy riffs and is an alt-rock take on the same angry perspective.
With a name like “Memento Mori,” the middle track holds its weight and acts as a perfect binder to the EP the way a single should. It speaks to the fatigue of being worn down as a human, and, without a stitch of pride, its focus is squarely on desperately seeking respite in the arms of God.
A step to the left of the mainstream rock vibe, “Decades Away” is a post-hardcore track about reaching forgiveness and acceptance that segues to the closer, “Anger/courage,” which is about moving on even when things don’t work out like you thought they would. The back-to-back tracks champion acceptance, being at peace with the hurt you carry, and admitting you don’t have the perfect solution or ideal outcome – all things we could use as we navigate a new, unknown world.
The artwork is an abandoned pulpit under a ceiling that’s fallen through, wrecked and messy, but the structural damage invites rays of light to fall down up the empty church. It’s powerful symbolism that comes to life in the EP it protects.