After bands such as A Day To Remember rose to popularity, it was inevitable that their infectious fusions of hardcore breakdowns and snappy crowd-pleasing singalongs would influence a number of artists to imitate this style in the years that followed. I Prevail are one such band. The Michigan quartet formed in 2013 and gained acclaim when they covered Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ – because why the hell not? However, when any band goes down the Punk Goes Pop-esque cover route, it’s sometimes understandably hard to take their further releases seriously.
Following their 2014 EP Heart Vs Mind, they are set to return with their debut full-length record Lifelines. Opener ‘Scars’ is a compliment to the consistency of their songwriting and ability to stick to the successful formula of catchy, uplifting lyrics and a good balance of hefty breakdowns which sets hopes high for the rest of the record. Title track ‘Lifelines’ is equally as solid and it’s a shame that these two early tracks can’t speak for rest of the album to follow.
The juvenile lyrics of ‘Outcast’ and the try-hard heavy intro to ‘Already Dead’ (which also chucks in the sloppy line “if I could bring you back to life I would kill you again” ) hint that I Prevail aren’t masters of poetry. ‘RISE’ and ‘Pull The Plug’ redeem these tracks slightly, despite having the same predictable lyricism but packing the punch with the breakdowns and melodies. ‘One More Time’ brings a slightly more pop-punk vibe to the table with a bright energy that could have been used to their advantage had they have been going down that road with this record.
A revamp of the earlier EP’s soppy ‘My Heart I Surrender’ appears pointless as it’s over-produced and synth-drenched, removing any original rawness and seemingly just there to fill time before the final track. Lifelines ends on a pretty high note with ‘Worst Part Of Me’, emulating everything that the album could have been. In a way, Lifelines is a frustrating listen due to the inconsistency between songs and the sometimes laughable masochistic attempts at “badass” lyricism (which, however, will definitely benefit from the buzz of a live environment). Among the rubble there’s certainly a few gems which will hopefully help I Prevail break the mold, however hard it is to stand out in such a recycled genre.