It has been three years since Life Pilot’s debut EP High Noon premiered in 2014. With the follow-up originally planned for just six months after High Noon’s release, it left fans of the Adelaide hardcore band wondering if there would ever be another release fro the band. Drummer Eli Green went as far as to say that he almost fell out of love with being in the band. The writing process was beginning to become a source of anxiety and depression for the group.
Finally the band reached a breaking point and changed their approach, releasing Too Hot For Killing in October of 2017. ‘We needed to stop worrying about writing music that sounds like what we think we’re supposed to write and just write what we want to write,‘ according to Green. And by writing for themselves, they acquired a newfound love for their sound and a kick-ass new energy.
The six-track EP opens with the high-octane “One,” – named fittingly for the length of the song – that dives straight into the chaos. By the second song, “Defy,” the influences of letlive. are heard as the jazzy basslines, two-steps and harsh screams drive a song that’s as groovy as it is brutal. Likewise, “Knife Box” drops all pleasantries and is a fast-paced, high-energy jam driven by bass with its discordant hardcore energy.
My biggest gripe comes with the title track, “Too Hot For Killing,” where we see the EP’s biggest vulnerability in vocalist Angus Long’s clean vocals. His screams are powerful throughout the entire album, but when I heard his singing, I was taken back to listening to a local band with a better production value. I think that Long should work to improve his cleans, or rework this song without singing.
The highlight of the album was easily the fiery “Next Question.” While romantic angst and gang vocals are nothing new to hardcore, the call-and-response chorus made for a genuinely compelling song that I wanted to listen to more than once. Think if Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” crossed over with The Dillinger Escape Plan.
While bands like letlive. and The Chariot may have called it quits, the high-octane Aussie energy of Life Pilot can take you back to the golden days of metalcore. It sounds nearly identical to some of the releases that we would have heard from the southern metalcore giants in the past 5 years: a technical riff with a groovy bassline before we lead into the heavy, ragged breakdown. While the sound of a drop D breakdown isn’t particularly original, Life Pilot‘s execution of the style is very well done. I was entertained throughout the entire album.
For anyone that’s looking for a new hardcore fix, or something to tend to the wounds left by by recent breakups, Life Pilot is for you. This five-piece from Down Under knows southern metalcore, and their chaotic energy is lacking in many new groups. I hope this band continues to mature, bringing even more innovation and energy with their next release.
Notable Tracks: “Defy,” “Next Question,” “Knife Box”
FFO: letlive., Every Time I Die, The Chariot