The first thing that comes to mind when blasting The Plot In You’s new record Could You Watch Your Children Burn is that this record is angry as fuck. Frontman Landon Tewers, taking a nod from metal behemoths like Slipknot, sinisterly spews vow after broken vow of vengeance from his holster of lyrical monstrosities, in a good way. In an upside-down sort of take on positivity, the music continues to focus on such negative and overwhelming topics like rape, domestic abuse and faith. Although it is not quite as breakdown-heavy as their last record First Born, it is just as pissed off, if not more pissed off than before. This guy doesn’t need anger management classes, because the music is working.
People write this band off as being unoriginal, and given their status quo as a “breakdown band” before, it’s understandable; but this record displays the band stepping into a refreshing light that focuses more on coherent songwriting than gimmicky bass drops centered on numbers of half-time tank blasts of guitar sludge. This time around, there is much more variation in between the songs to offer some reprieve. There is a larger amount of clean vocals on this record, which work with much of the improved guitar and bass chord progressions; overall Tewers really steps it up, and it shows. Some of the songs in particular are absolutely gorgeous (“Digging Your Grave,” “Fiction Religion,” “Troll,” “Bible Butcher”). The guys reek of passion in every song, and it’s easily one of the best things about TPIY.
Although this album is (obviously) heavy as hell – and that will be what you listen to first -it’s really about the lyrical content that gives the songs their edge. Whether it’s the death-filled “Premeditated,” the maniacal “Troll,” the monster that is “Fiction Religion,” the rape-hate that is “Population Control” or the hopelessness of “The Devil’s Contract,” you really get the sense that everything said is completely genuine. Musically it’s the same all around – just darker and grittier. It works well most of the time and falls flat on a couple occasions. The only real faults I’ve found with the record are the much more “upbeat” songs like “Sober and Soulless” and “Glad You’re Gone,” only because they felt a bit forced and weren’t exactly the most accessible musically. Also, I find the actual mix of the album to be a bit off-center (meaning there’s too much on the right side and not enough on the left), but that’s something that can be overlooked. There are some real gems on the record though. Take the absolute destroyer of a breakdown in “Troll” that literally comes out of nowhere, or the frustrating and seismic yelling of the title of the album in “Fiction Religion,” which also leads into a ridiculous breakdown. The effectiveness is heightened because of their choice to use much fewer breakdowns, and that makes the ones they do use hit that much harder.
The thing to keep in mind is this band is only two records in, yet they’ve already shown a major progression from the first. It seems that they are trimming the fat, and leaving in the good stuff that makes them unique (the lyrical subjects, spoken word style, and passion). I’m proud to say that The Plot In You stepped up this time around, and if they continue to then I’ll be eagerly awaiting that next record – and who knows how pissed off that one could be.