REVIEW: THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA – “Transit Blues”
Dawn 'Mama Love' Brown
One of my favorite topics within the realm of music is subgenres. One subgenre that doesn’t get its due is Metalcore — rr any of the various subgenres with the “core” designation. There are many up and coming Metalcore bands that run the gamut, from metal “boy bands” to groups that are not only heavy but talented as well. These bands are widely dismissed by many metal fans for various reasons, but this only proves to prevent people from enjoying some really great music.
With that said, one of the better outfits within this subgenre is The Devil Wears Prada, a spirited group of guys out of Dayton, OH, named after the story of the same name, not the Ann Hathaway movie. TDWP has enjoyed some success, having released five studio albums and two EPs since their inception in 2005 and appearing on major tours including the final caravan of the former Mayhem Festival.
TDWP’s latest release, ‘Transit Blues’, comes on the heels of their technical masterpiece ‘Space’ — an EP released in August, 2015. While ‘Transit Blues’ lacks some of the complexity of ‘Space’, it makes up for that with a unique diversity in the songs, which pull from many different influences. The album opens strong with “Praise Poison”, which begins with some interesting percussion elements and goes into a driving bullet train into a chasm of emo. “Daughter” proves to be equally driving, with Mike Hranica’s screeching vocals and percussion that seems to be perfectly timed with the bass and guitar of Kyle Sipress and Jeremy DePoyster. “Worldwide” is what I would consider a radio cut, if the radio could handle it. Which it can’t.
“Lock and Load” is where you really start hearing some of the various influences, with a decidedly sludgy feel in spots. “The Condition” opens with a nice a cappella two-part harmony that lulls the listener into a false sense of calm, then slams them with a brick wall of sound, and then does another 180-flip back to the calm. It’s a mindfuck. Rounding out the album, “Home for Grave, Pt 2” is just… odd. Cool but odd. The title track of the record, “Transit Blues”, has both the fast and mild aspects of Metalcore that will undoubtedly transfer seamlessly to a live performance.
Other notable tracks include “Flyover States”, “To the Key of Evergreen” — which was recently also released as a video — and “Submersion” which starts out with elements reminiscent of industrial metal and has a slower, almost sludgy tempo as well as the angsty vocals characteristic of good industrial bands.
‘Transit Blues’ has a sound that can absolutely serve as the definition of Metalcore — melody-heavy with audible aspects of hard rock, post-punk and even industrial. Add in thoughtful collaborative lyrics and voice-over-voice vocal tracks, and you have a solid offering worthy of proudly posting about on social media.