We Never Change

rating icon 6.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Triple Belly O Poo
02. Promisha
03. Table Full of Giggles
04. Walter's Look of Conviction
05. Sir Interruptsalot
06. Your Hands Smell Like a Bad Attitude
07. Feels Like Guts
08. We Never Change
09. And Then I Touched His Freddy Krueger
10. Hangin with Nature

You have got to give at least some credit to Salt Lake City's CLIFTON for mixing some fairly gripping southern sludge grooves in with its standard Swedish-influenced metalcore. It is not quite enough to raise the metalcore bar, but the songs on "We Never Change" possess just enough variety, passionate performances and musical talent to at least make it worth checking out if you're a fan of the genre.

All the standard American metalcore elements are here, though it is not as breakdown-ridden as some albums by the band's brethren. The twin guitar work of Mark Wursten and Carl Ball can be rather exciting at times, the duo playing off each well and kicking out some tasty harmonies. Solos abound as well, often working successfully to raise a song out of its standard arrangement, the solo on "Triple Belly O Poo" one of several notables for causing one to pay attention. Along with Bryan Edwards' predictable, though workable, scruffy mid-range bark, the majority of the album's songs are of the up-tempo, Swedecore variety, "Table Full of Giggles", "Sir Interruptsalot", and "Promisha", a few such examples, ridiculous titles notwithstanding. It is when the group breaks into sludgy southern breakdowns on "Walter's Look of Conviction" with its cool harmonica part, "And Then I Touched His Freddy Krueger", and part of "Your Hands Smell Like a Bad Attitude" that the group shows the potential to separate itself from the metalcore hordes. The odd man out here is the acoustic and moody instrumental title track, not because it sucks, but because every other group seems to feel the need to toss in one of these numbers.

Those notables aside though, what you get with "We Never Change" is little more than a solid metalcore album that will not make you a fan of the genre if you are not already one. You've heard better albums, but you've also heard much worse. Those of you not already drowning in a sea of metalcore will fine little here that isn't at least moderately satisfying.

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