For all the frenetic, hyperactive sturm und drang on emo-pop trio Beautiful Bodies' 2015 debut, Battles, this album isn't nearly as memorable as it should be. But that doesn't mean it isn’t worth listening to, especially if you're a fan of the bands that clearly influenced these Kansas City natives, like Paramore and Fall Out Boy. Centered around frontwoman Alicia Solombrino, the band make traditional, three-chord emo. Produced by John Feldmann, (Panic! At the Disco, the Used, 5 Seconds of Summer), the disc is an extremely sonically dense production, full of multi-tracked vocals dipped in myriad echo EFX, highly processed electric guitars, bubbly, EDM synths, programmed drums, actual live drums, and even handclaps. With that much going on, it's hard not to get swept up in the group's energy on cuts like "Capture and Release," "September 1973," and "Goodnight and Goodluck." These songs are brightly colored and certainly share the urgency of FOB and Paramore. The only problem is that Beautiful Bodies never quite capture the addictive drive of their influences. The music implies deep, emotional intensity, but lacks the swirling hookiness and gritty soul that makes you want to listen to an emo-rock song over and over. Even still, Feldmann has had success repurposing Green Day's pop-punk style for a new generation with his work on 5 Seconds of Summer, and Beautiful Bodies could be a good fit for listeners (mainly young ones) reared on boy band idols like One Direction and Justin Bieber, who are attracted to that buoyant but less substantial vibe.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar