Blessed by a Broken Heart

All Is Fair in Love and War

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    5
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Quebec, Canada's Blessed by a Broken Heart appear keen to distinguish their ultra-furious, but really quite typical, metalcore freak-outs with all manner of funny voices, cute little song titles like "That Knife Ain't for Butter" and "OMG!," and the odd quote from Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield." You heard right! If only they'd committed as much effort to rehearsal as they did to such clever wordplay, posing leather-clad and Ramones-like in front of brick walls, or sounding like Donald Duck on the ear-mangling "Mic Skillz," however, they might not have come across like a third-rate Killswitch Engage, taking the piss. Alternate vocal styles, actually, are the bane of this album's existence, as the group regularly and recklessly abandons their predominant guttural growls to delve -- rather unconvincingly -- into everything from piercing falsettos, to pop-punk harmonies, to halfhearted hardcore gang choruses (slashing across tunes rather than slotting nicely into their arrangements), to sober, emo-like declarations, and, finally, spoken word passages. Like Mike Patton's bastard offspring (if they're even worthy of naming in the same sentence), Blessed by a Broken Heart really need to focus for a moment, get themselves a proper producer, and stop wasting their energies and our precious lifespan with these amateurish creations, not to mention childish exercises in faux soul like in this disc's hidden final track. As it stands, these Canadian upstarts (who may or may not be born-again Christians, to boot -- now there's a funny prospect!) don't take themselves seriously enough to merit serious appraisal. Harmless fun is the best way of looking at it.

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