After releasing a series of EPs, New Jersey’s Modern Chemistry released their emotional full-length record Everything in Gold on July 7. Produced by Paul Leavitt (Senses Fail, All Time Low, Yellowcard), the larger than life album takes the listener on a journey. Vocalist Joe Zorzi wears his heart on his sleeve, touching on love and love lost, regret, pain, and the inevitable growth that follows.
Everything in Gold kicks off with the slow but powerful title track, with Zorzi declaring right off the bat he wants “everything in gold.” The melodic introduction to the album hooks the listener, drawing them seamlessly into the second track, “The Moment”. The track harkens back to the emo of the early 2000s, with a slow but catchy build-up leading into a powerful, anthemic chorus.
The third track, “Pretty Death”, is the highlight of the album, packing a powerful punch from the first note. The track is an honest reflection of the ever-so-relatable pain of lost love, with Zorzi exclaiming, “We lost it all, but what a pretty death it was / We lost it all, I’ll do my best, the best I can to let it go.” The track is a heartfelt declaration of pain and the desire to move on from it, echoing the themes of the album as a whole.
“Tripping Over You” and “I Can’t Take Myself Anywhere” are an extremely personal couple of songs, with Zorzi continuing to confront his losses and reflect on his own personal struggles and weaknesses, begging the question, “When it all goes to hell where will you run to?”
As the album reaches its half-way point, an attitude shift is apparent. While the emotions are still running high and the melodies are still beautiful and chilling, the songs stray from that desperate, emotional low point and being to get brighter. The melancholic track “Wallpaper” feels lighter than the intense tracks that precede it, beginning to explore the growth that comes from the pain the band touches on throughout the record.
Everything in Gold has a clear theme of personal reflection throughout, which becomes especially clear in “St. Rain”, as Zorzi quietly sings, “There’s a reason I’m the person I am / There’s a reason for those long nights in bed / I’m the reason you can break down those walls.” The lyrical content of the album shifts from expressing pain to reflecting on what to do with it and where it comes from.
The following two tracks, “Fever Dream” and “Sleep Talk”, are much softer instrumentally, cutting deep with relatable lyrics that stay true to the album’s overall theme of loss with a silver lining. However, these two songs are followed by a much more optimistic and bright track, sounding similar to bands like The Maine and Yellowcard. A radio-ready song, “It’s Been A While (Demons)”, is a much more poppy and upbeat track, standing apart from the rest of the emotionally driven album. While it is lyrically similar, the track seems to stray from rest of the deeply moving album.
The album closes on a high note with “Tradewinds”, which fades back into the melodic intro that kicked off Everything in Gold. Though the album as a whole is filled with heartbreak, fear, and pain, “Tradewinds” leaves the listener with both hope and the desire to hit the repeat button and listen again and again.
Everything in Gold is proof that Modern Chemistry is full of emotional depth and introspective brilliance, and it’s a natural progression from 2016’s Dreaming Adjacent. The album is one that will make you reflect on your own heartache, pain and growth, and will send chills down your spine when you hear the songs live. Modern Chemistry is currently on tour with Every Time I Die and Taking Back Sunday, kicking off each show with tracks from the deep and affecting journey that is Everything in Gold.
Alternative Rock/Emo | Independent