To Hell with Motives

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South Carolina group Bombshell mix a series of emo, screamo, and almost theatrical metal on To Hell with Motives, resembling something like a cross between Metallica and Billy Talent on the intro "For Days" and especially later on during "221." From there the deep guttural yelps come to the fore during the rather tight, polished, and intricate metal-tinged "HXC." The track shows the work of guitarists Matt Simmons and Chris Stephens quite well. It's these meaty, thick slabs of metal that propel the song along without any significant hassles. When Bombshell gets a bit too cute, as they do with "Princeton," it's basically a run-of-the-mill track you'd find on either of the Vans Warped Tour main stages. Light but not too fluffy or flighty, the chorus kicks in to salvage the number. Bombshell fare a bit better with the winding "BOM" that sounds like Jimmy Eat World after listening to Slayer once too often, in spite of the occasional vocal chord-bursting screams that do little for the song. Fortunately the album rarely loses its momentum with quality songs like "Moving on from Moving On" that instantly brings to mind Taking Back Sunday, while the earnest "Let's Forget" perhaps has the best melody on the album. The lone clunker is "Looking Through Stained Glass Windows," which is a bit too airy from start to finish, since the guitars and rhythm section are buried deep in the mix. But the lovely "Friday Nights Disaster" is anything but, with another uptempo and rather frantic approach that passes the quality bar with flying colors.

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