After hearing The Word Alive’s song “Play the Victim” on the Unconditional Tour, I was excited to hear the studio version. I previously interviewed the band’s lead vocalist Tyler “Telle” Smith and we discussed this song, which added to my intrigue about the final product. In the interview, Smith talked about how this song was supposed to be representative of the band’s upcoming record Real, the band’s third studio album.
The track is primarily made up of clean vocals with the occasional metalcore scream thrown into it. The Word Alive has stated that their goal is to not make music that is only “brutal.” This song certainly exemplifies this. Its sound is much more solid and focused on the band’s maturity on all of the levels. “Play the Victim” starts off with an intense guitar solo that later mixes in some drums.
This is the first time fans get to hear Luke Holland’s drumming on a recorded track and he definitely does not disappoint. Holland has been stated to be a prodigy, for lack of better words, and this is evident in the song. Real is said to be the band’s most collaborative work. This track shows off each member of the band’s different musical influences, which is something The Word Alive has always prided itself on. These unique styles gives the song some creativity.
The song’s lyrics are very real and easy to relate to as most people have met at least one person in their life who constantly plays the victim. My favorite lyrics from this track are “You are the one who always falls apart/ The one who plays the victim/ Working on your latest tragedy/ When you should want to fix it”. I know that at least I have met several people who will refuse to fix their problems and instead choose to constantly complain about them.
Telle Smith’s vocal have also improved quite a bit. While the song is comprised mostly of clean vocals, which Smith has pretty much mastered, the unclean vocals have also shown a lot of maturity. The screams that get thrown into the song don’t seem out of place at all and add to the song. The song ends on a scream that basically gives me chills, it’s so good.
The Word Alive’s single “Play the Victim” is definitely a success and has me dying to hear the rest of Real.