You may or not be aware but Like Moths to Flames frontman Chris Roetter has been at the whole music thing for quite a while. Originally gaining some recognition in 2007 as the frontman for the then up-and-coming band Emarosa, it wasn’t long before he left to start his own band, Agraceful, who released one EP and their only full length The Great I Am (which was released by Sumerian Records). Unfortunately, things didn’t seem to work out with Agraceful either, and the band broke up earlier this year. It wasn’t long, however, before Roetter formed a new metalcore outfit, this time with members of now defunct Ohio band TerraFirma. Soon after, the band inked a deal with the ever-growing Rise Records and announced that they would be releasing their debut EP, Sweet Talker, in the winter. Now the EP is finally available (it was originally recorded during the summer), and like many of the releases in the genre, it suffers from a severe case of inconsistency.
The EP starts off with “Your Existence”, which features Landon Tewers from fellow Rise band The Plot In You (what is it with these bands and getting guest vocalists that already sound like their own frontmen?), which is mostly composed of breakdowns. While Chris Roetter might not be the best screamer, he definitely commands attention, which is one of the few saving graces of the release. However, the music’s repetitive scheme makes the other members in the band take a back seat and in the end become bland and forgettable, which ends up becoming a common factor throughout the EP.
Fortunately, a few songs manage to stand out from the rest; it becomes obvious that it is when the band utilizes clean singing, they are able to pull off some more distinguishable songs and even manage to throw some extremely catchy choruses into the mix (see the choruses in “Real Talk” and “Bloodsport”). Sadly, the few choruses aren’t able to save the rest of the songs from blending together, or take away from the fact that the band overuses their breakdowns (seriously, is the breakdown at the end of “Real Talk” really necessary?). Also unfortunate is that while Roetter’s vocals have gotten more dominant, they have also taken a step down in quality, which is a shame considering his work in Agraceful and Emarosa.
Sweet Talker fits in perfectly with the latest bunch of metalcore acts (My Ticket Home, The Plot In You) who at times abuse the amount of breakdowns they use. Like Moths to Flames is the type of band who can improve in their next release, as long as they can get someone who can give their music decent production (production for this EP is absolutely shameful), and as long as they can vary their songs from just continuous breakdowns. Like Moths to Flames isn’t exactly Chris Roetter’s best project, but with the way metalcore has been shaping up lately, it’s sure to prove to be his most successful, although it would be nice to see him acquire popularity with a band with a little more talent.