Certain albums leave a lasting impression on you forever. Growing up, those albums for me came from a diverse array of bands and genres. Whether it was the angsty nu-metal of Meteora, the alt-metal of White Pony, or the classic post-hardcore sound of Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation, my childhood (and life in general) has been blessed with some great albums that both defined my youth and have stayed with me since then.
As I grew older, I slowly became attached to anything to do with “hardcore”. One of my first experiences with the genre was sometime around 2005, where at a church youth group, I was introduced to Comeback Kid’s Wake The Dead and Stretch Armstrong’s seminal album Free At Last. Both these records are absolute staples in my collection that I revisit every so often. Eventually, I grew into and discovered bands like Modern Life Is War, Defeater, The Hope Conspiracy, and many more.
It wasn’t until college, though, that I discovered More Than Life’s 2008 EP Brave Enough To Fail. I can thank Myspace for helping me discover one of my favorite melodic hardcore EP’s ever.
“I’m just a fucking faceless name!”
I’m not sure what it is about Brave Enough To Fail that makes its 16 minute runtime such an experience. The angry but passionate vocals? Probably. The lyrics that hit home to me in 2008, and especially today? Definitely. What band, especially one that was at the time very young, could write a song like “Faceless Name”? Not very many, I’d imagine. The great thing about this EP is that the lyrics are memorable, the production is raw but not underproduced, and its length never overstays its welcome.
Maybe the best adjective to describe the EP is desperate. Because Brave Enough To Fail is 16 minutes of desperation set to melodic hardcore punk music. Passionate, anthemic, and effective, More Than Life expanded further into this sound on both Love Let Me Go and What’s Left Of Me, and while both of those are great albums, Brave Enough To Fail is a melodic hardcore staple that also remains a key influence on the current crop of bands in the genre.
How many times have you closed your eyes and listened to the rain beating on your window?