Between the Buried and Me

The Anatomy Of

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North Carolina's Between the Buried and Me have already established a place for themselves in underground rock with their innovative and seamless combination of hardcore, heavy metal, math rock, and yes, jazz. So for album number four, why not have some fun covering and paying homage to some of the bands that helped get the guys where they are today? Consequently, The Anatomy Of is full of acts that BTBAM shamelessly rocked out to in their bedrooms, furiously tried emulating as teenagers learning instruments, and well, just sat back in awe of the power great music holds. And far from being a one-track band drawing from a single genre of inspiration, BTBAM have included a rather diverse range: Pantera, Earth Crisis, Depeche Mode, King Crimson, Smashing Pumpkins, Faith No More, and Mötley Crüe, to name a few. The eclectic mix of groups says a lot about why BTBAM are so musically dexterous, especially since each song, style, attitude, or whatever is pulled off with a fluid capability that speaks volumes for their talents -- individually and as a band. Stripped-down songs like Counting Crows' "Colorblind" and Blind Melon's "Change" showcase vocals with a naked vulnerability not always observed in heavy music. And the fact that they can pull off Pink Floyd's expansive "Us and Them" as believably as their especially heavy take on Metallica's "Blackened" is impressive to say the least. Through drastic vocal changes -- from the abrasive guttural attack of Sepultura's "Territory" to the acoustic jam of "Change" to the eccentric vocal harmony fun of Queen's "Bicycle Race" -- one almost forgets it's the same band performing. The album was an ambitious undertaking that BTBAM pull off with an unfaltering confidence that makes up for the occasional awkward moment along the way. So while the Crüe's "Kickstart My Heart" is missing a bit of that hair metal recklessness, and Tommy Rogers' voice doesn't strike as hard as Soundgarden's Chris Cornell on "The Day I Tried to Live" (and the crude background vocals could be done without, as well), listeners should hardly care. Complete with member liner-note commentary about the reasoning for or fan-boy love of certain songs, The Anatomy Of is a solid release that should further inspire fans unfamiliar with some of the covers to expand their own musical repertoire. It's just BTBAM's way of sharing the love.

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