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My Iron Lung

Relief

(Pure Noise; US: 8 Jul 2014; UK: 8 Jul 2014)

My Iron Lung may be named after a Radiohead song, but, on their debut album, their post-hardcore sound owes a lot more to early ‘00s genre bands like Thursday than anything from the English titans. The quartet runs through 10 tracks in an exceedingly brief 25 minutes, although that brevity manages to partially mask some songwriting deficiencies. As instrumentalists, the band is extremely tight, with a locked-in rhythm section and expansive, airy guitar work. Vocalist Matthew Fitzpatrick shouts his way through the lyrics, which works fine on the record’s harder-hitting tracks. But often, when the expansive guitar lines are at the forefront of the song, they seem to be written to support a vocal melody. And Fitzpatrick doesn’t have a shred of melody in his voice, which leaves a noisy, shouting hole in the center of My Iron Lung’s music. It’s a problem that the band never really addresses, although Fitzpatrick does attempt to sing a couple of times on the record, with tuneless results. If My Iron Lung is going to continue to write songs like these, they need to let Fitzpatrick stick to the guitar and occasional shouting and add a vocalist who can actually sing.

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