Now and on Earth

Blacked Out

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Montreal's Now and on Earth are one band unafraid to mix together an eclectic variety of influences -- along with the raw-throated vocals and stutter-step double kick drums that are the calling card of metalcore, they have a clean singer who sounds like he's moonlighting from a boy band (he's probably supposed to be the edgy one), melodic keyboard accents that could have been pulled from some hip-hop dance hit, guitars that go for '80s hair metal squeal as often as 21st century bark, and production so slick you could fry an egg on it. If all that weren't enough, Now and on Earth seem determined to make their debut album, 2015's Blacked Out, one seriously angry and bummed-out piece of work; in the band's record company bio, guitarist Mathieu Maltais described the album as "really heavy, but also really sad and depressing." Actually, Blacked Out isn't sad and depressing in the way Maltais hoped; the band's "dark" personality and relentless navel-gazing seems more affected than sincere, especially given the clear pop influences of the music, and the various elements fit together so clumsily that Blacked Out occasionally sounds like a poorly executed mashup rather than an original work. It's worth noting that three members of Now and on Earth used to be members of Skip the Foreplay, a hard but goofy band that fused party-hearty dance sounds with metalcore, and scored some YouTube play with a cover of LMFAO's "Champagne Shower." It's not hard to imagine that the guys decided being dark and troubled was going to go over bigger in the punk/metal market than being party monsters, and hence the emergence of Now and on Earth, but if they didn't quite sound like they lived at the club, that guise was more convincing than their current emo-on-steroids stance. Embrace your dark side elsewhere.

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