Burden of a Day

Blessed Be Our Ever After

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At first glance, the thought of applying lyrics based on Disney movies, comic book characters, and other common fables onto run-of-the-mill screamo-core seems like a recipe for disaster -- or at least a very bad day at the office for those having to objectively review Burden of a Day's sophomore album, Blessed Be Our Ever After. But the Sarasota quintet makes it somewhat easier on listeners (and themselves, lest the lawsuits should start flying) by taking largely circuitous routes while adapting those stories for their lyrics -- and they also pay surprisingly little lip service to their homeboy, Jesus (yes, they're Christian rockers), who is thanked profusely in the liner notes, but may take issue over having his father's name taken in vain here and there. So perhaps the single biggest challenge facing Burden of a Day is the overwhelming predictability of their musical template, which falls somewhere between the melodic metalcore of All That Remains and Killswitch Engage and softer emo/screamo leanings à la the Bled and Thursday. Within those well-defined boundaries, moronically named ditties such as "Sorry Seacrest It's Casey's Countdown" and "It's Only Lonely at the Top" are capably executed genre exercises, but their familiar arrangements, fits and starts from riff to breakdown peppered with occasional flights of solo guitar weedle-weedle, will shock absolutely no one but the utterly uninitiated. If anything, the group deserves some credit for its fearless swan dives into emphatic clean choruses, which reach "I want to buy the world a Coke" levels on tracks like "My Shelter" and "I'm Only Laughing on the Outside." But when the time comes to record their third album, Burden of a Day will have to decide whether they want to be known for peddling clichés exceptionally well -- albeit with those unusual subjects -- or breaking new musical ground.

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