Published Aug 12, 2013Despite the addition of three new members since their last album, 2010's excellent Meridional, Atlanta metalcore heaven raisers Norma Jean are continuing along the same path they've been on for a long while now. Earlier this month, the quintet dropped their new disc, Wrongdoers, via Razor & Tie, and it finds them nailing the noisey, sludgey, metallic hardcore sound just perfectly.
"I think what we've done on this record is try to do the normal Norma Jean progression that we always try to do," vocalist Cory Putman explains in a recent Exclaim! interview, "but this record does it in a way that adds some really new elements. Sonically, this is the best-sounding record; this is the best recording we've done. It just sounds sonically really, really good. We're really excited. It's just going to blow stereos up."
The album plays to the band's strengths — melodic, moving choruses mixed with feedback-drenched raging metallic hardcore — but still ends up way too ragged, pure, and heavy to fit in nicely with the good-cop, bad-cop metalcore scene. Putman agrees, but counters that "melody has always been something I've loved in heavy music. There's a time for singing or melody, depending on the emotion behind it. That's how I see it. Some parts are meant to be yelled, some parts are meant to be gut-wrenchingly sung, passionately."
Wrongdoers, perhaps more than any of their previous albums, takes that passion to new levels, with raw production and moments that are audibly rough.
"There's a human being playing that instrument, not a computer," says Putman. "It's rock and roll, you know what I mean? Sweaty, nasty rock'n'roll, just like Led Zeppelin did it, just like Jimi Hendrix did it. Norma Jean loves that, that human connection that music's supposed to have."
Norma Jean are planning on taking that sweaty, nasty rock'n'roll to the next logical step, after releasing six studio albums: Putman reveals that the band are seriously considering a live album as their next step.
"That's on the tips of our tongues, we're really talking about it, and that's coming," he says about the idea. " Why not? Put some mics in front of everything and go. 'Take one, go, done...' As much time as we spent on this new record, I think that it [would be] a breath of fresh air to just not care about that. I think it'd be fun."
As previously reported, Norma Jean are out on the Summer Slaughter tour, and you can see the remaining dates here.