Underoath: They’re Only Chasing Safety (special edition)

What is up with these “Screamo” bands the youth of today seem to like? What, in the name of all that is groovy, is the attraction of a “song” where the lead vocals consist mainly of screaming? Now, I’m hip. I’m cool. I am, in fact, down with the kids, but this is not macho shouting or aggressive rapping, this is just a constant distorted and tortured crying of strangled words over otherwise nicely played songs. It’s just a noise. It’s not natural

Yes, I too used to think like you. I too used to be my grandpa. But then I bought (They’re Only Chasing Safety) by Underoath, and everything changed. While Screamo (a form of Emo or emotional punk with the vocal style described above) is often dire, this is a Screamo album that glitters and shines, almost too good for its subculture. Yes, the vocal style takes some getting used to, but then so did distorted guitar the first time you heard it. And Underoath use vocals like a strange and terrible instrument, adding shades and colour, texture and direction to every song.

Lyrically, it is precocious. People this young (most of Underoath are barely out of their teens) have no business writing this kind of desolate, hope-streaked stream-of-consciousness poetry without sounding corny. Phrases jump out of songs and stay with you for days: “I never told you, but it’s all in your goodbyes”; “drowning in my sleep” hypnotically chanted by a choir or: “Jesus, I’m ready to come home”. This is an album shot through with melancholy but rooted in a hope in Christ demonstrated in the subtle lyrics, the accompanying DVD’s opening scene of band prayer or by their overt statement of faith after their London performance to a huge, mainly secular crowd last year. It has been re-released with the accompanying DVD (and, sadly, less beautiful artwork) in response to Underoath’s huge success in both Christian and secular circles. It didn’t need to be. While not chillout listening by any measure, this is a work of extraordinary, troubling and intense beauty.

4 Responses

  1. thank you soooooo much for actually LISTENING to thier music. many baptist organizations today would not. you gave them a fair chance and see what happened?

  2. Hmmm…Let me see…Well, screamo music is to open up the young peoples eyes and show them what is coming to them and mainly scare them in a good way. Underoath personally led my soul to Jesus Christ and they are doing their works to building up the kingdom of Christ. Now excuse my language but your criticism is bullshit. I think you need to pray about what the hell you are telling other people because “WWJD?” Would he critisize people? I don’t think so, so pray about it buddy especially as a Pastor?!?…
    Wesley Walden

  3. i dont think so that they are Christians.. i will only believe if i meet them.. but i think theyre not…

  4. What the heck how can u judge people to say if their christians or not just bye their music Underoath has changed people like my mom who is 39 loves them how can u as a pastor judge them like that what a shame on your part.

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