Archives- Reviews: Between Now and Forever
Self-described as “five down to earth d00ds that drink Stewart’s iced tea and love shitting at gas stations/stores when we’re on the road,” Between Now And Forever (BNAF) is all about long hair, wild empty eyes, tats, plugs, and piercings. They are an un-distilled, Hardcore/Heavy Metal band for the thinking man. Their punishing guitar licks collide with frenzied drum spasms and dry mouthed growling to deliver classic Metal a la Motorhead, Black Stone Cherry and High Five. The jack-in-the-box is the pop lyrics! With the exception of “Darker Side of Doom,” which is a political commentary on the consequences of self indulgence in the good ole US of A, their lyrics deliver positive, upbeat messages touting self-acceptance, perseverance, and brotherhood. For example the hook in “Come Night Fall”: “I wouldn’t change a thing/this is our dream/so beautiful, so perfect/giving me a purpose,” poetically describes the Band’s joy when performing. Taboo song titles like “Heavy Set Lesbian” and “Chris Brown Beat Down” disguise the “Boy Scout” lyrics, as does BNAF’s jackhammer delivery of gritty, grinding rock, and devilicious vocals.
“Darker Side of Doom” delves into the apocalyptic future of the U.S. This cut is a model of Heavy Metal perfection. Warnings of imminent destruction ping pong between a lonely voice sounding the alarm and a satanic chorus entreating listeners to accept their fate. Head banging drum rolls, passionate vocals and nasty guitar wrangling are in perfect sync on the one cut that delves into the classic anti-establishment chassis that Heavy Metal was built on. Production qualities are tight, the sound is crunchy crisp and the vibe matches the message. “Darker Side of Doom” hints at the potential magnitude of BNAF.
“Let’s go!” That war cry trails the feverish drums and megawatt guitar bursts that open “Heavy Set Lesbian.” Almost danceable, this tune is filled with hope and joy. The call-and-response pattern alternating a single voice and a responding chorus that sounds like it’s made up of the princes of Hell, delivers a message of personal freedom. That same ebb and flow spills onto the drums and guitars, balancing perfectly all of the elements of the song. The best part of this tune is the ending: a tsunami of sound and motion slows as reverberating guitar strings simulate the roar of a cloud bound jet. The aural sensation evokes tender images of a young lesbian embarking on her personal journey of self-discovery. BNAF’s ability to morph music into imagery is magical.
“Chris Brown Beat Down” is 3:40 of melodic and lyrical contrasts. Opening with up tempo drums, slick cymbal action, and rich guitar tracks, the beat slows and vocals snatch the spotlight. Frantic drumbeats pick up the pace and steal the spotlight as demonic voices spewing claims of owning the universe try and fail to reclaim center stage. Angelic voices counter with admonishments to “just press on.” Musical war rages on like this for a head bobbin’ two minutes. Finally, slithering drumbeats strangle the last echoing voice as it cries, “We’ve come too far.” The juxtaposition of good and evil in the lyrics mimics the duality of the vocals and the choppy tempo changes of the instrumentation. There is no obvious tie between the title and the lyrics, but Metalheads will relish the volume, intensity, and density of this cut. BNAF earns a metal horn salute for this one!
Rodney, Kinger, Jesse, Dan and Ryan have mastered the accoutrements of the stereotypical Punk/Hardcore/Alternative band while delivering the antithesis of the genre; a positive message. Production quality is consistently strong, and the use of melody and lyrics to create ethereal story lines is fascinating and intellectually stimulating . Stronger solo vocals and succinct song titles could catapult a really good band to greatness. Between Now And Forever have the look, the sound, and the chops to deliver precious metal with the best of them. Bang your head at:
Stoke and refine boys!