Gorgeous Great Lakes

Playing a derivative style of metalcore with abundantly clear influences, the Gorgeous have just enough songwriting ability and enthusiasm to make it gel together just right. The material here for the most part lies somewhere in between the flamboyant, mosh-y stomp of older Eighteen Visions and the dearly departed Botch’s angular quirkiness. The shimmering, roomy production allows for the group’s emotionally soaring melodies to stand out when appropriate, with more than the occasional Misery Signals homage bordering on rip-off. The songwriting, while occasionally marred by questionable transitions and perhaps a few too many breakdowns, is far more developed and intricate than the majority of the competition. The brief moments of monotony are often quickly dispelled by vocalist Jordon Daniel, who rarely settles into a comfortable rut and instead opts for a smattering of different deliveries, even breaking into brief spurts of melodious caterwauling on occasion. A word must be said about the artwork as well: yet another stunning layout from Sons Of Nero, depicting a landscape on the brink of sunset which perfectly represents the passionate aesthetic the Gorgeous are clearly setting out to achieve. Keep an eye out for these guys — with a rigorous tour schedule on the horizon and a freshly-inked deal with Distort, the Gorgeous can only go up from here. (Distort)