I Killed the Prom Queen have still got it! They are finally back with their newest release called Beloved after a good eight year long hiatus. This influential band from Adelaide, Australia was formed in the year 2000 and has been at the forefront of the Australian hardcore scene since that time. They have had a pretty illustrious career, meaning that the band has seen some crazy line-up changes. Members kept leaving to join other projects and new ones kept coming in through the years. Among all the past and current members, guitarist and founder Jona Weinhofen deserves a mention. A great songwriter, Jona has been with Prom Queen since the beginning and has molded the band’s sound into what it is now.
Beloved is the band’s third studio album after ‘When Goodbye Means Forever’, released in 2003 and ‘Music for the Recently Deceased’ after the release of which in 2006 began their long break. Things started heating up in early January of 2012 when Weinhofen confirmed that the band will write another record. In 2013, he quit Bring Me The Horizon to work on the album full-time. At first listen, one could immediately tell that it’s still the Prom Queen sound with a few fresh elements. The breakdowns are massive, tasty and foot-stomp-inducing. Each breakdown feels like it is meant to be there. The riffs are hectic, jumpy and melodic. They scream Australia. The choruses invoke emotion in you. Each song feels complete and does not blindly follow the riff-chorus-breakdown scheme. I think this trait lies in the intuitive yet well thought out song structures. This time around, there’s slight use of electronic and orchestral sounds. There are more calm moments throughout the album and even more clean vocals. New vocalist Jamie Hope’s voice has a certain character that isn’t the staple of the hardcore sound but he manages to pull it off and fills the space left by previous frontmen Ed Butcher and Michael Crafter really well.
The album starts off with ‘Beginning Of The End’, which is a rather run-of-the-mill intro track. But unlike most bands’ album intros, this song does the work of being an accurate indicator of how the rest of the songs will be like. ‘To The Wolves’ throws you right in the middle of the mosh pit. The album progresses further and you begin to enjoy the catchy parts which exist in every song. The chorus in ‘Thirty One & Sevens’ is a fun sing along and is one of the most memorable tracks on the album. ‘Calvert Street’ has guest vocals by Bjorn Strid of Soilwork. Yes, Bjorn of Soilwork sang in Prom Queen. Jonathan Vigil of The Ghost Inside also delivered guest vocals on ‘No One Will Save Us’. If I had to pick my top tracks, they would be ‘Thirty One & Sevens’, ‘Kjærlighet’ and ‘Brevity’.
This album will soothe old fans and make new ones jump and smile. This band has once again set another template for bands to use, both newcomers and established. To conclude, Beloved is a splendid record gifted to us by the Aussie champions that are I Killed The Prom Queen.
Rating – 8/10
– Quiet Boi