Come with me as we explore into maybe one of Australia’s hidden and stunning monsters of metal and hardcore genres. For those that don’t know, Life Pilot are from Adelaide, a five-piece band that bring us their 2017 six track release titled Too Hot For Killing. This album will identify with fans of the combination of the raw intense sounds and ferocity of bands like Every Time I Die and The Dillinger Escape Plan.
Life Pilot whilst under the genre of Noise-Metal, take a refreshingly honest approach to their music describing their sound as that they “toe a fine line between metal & hardcore without favouring one over the other”. Life Pilot’s strong list of opening support performances with some huge names such as Every Time I Die, Senses Fail, Norma Jean, Hellyeah, Kverletak, and as winners of Triple J’s Soundwave Competition where they performed at Soundwave Festival in 2013 demonstrate they can hold their own.
The approach taken by Life Pilot is straightforward yet provides many cross genre elements with their musical passions coming straight through every track with strong hardcore foundations and metal influences throughout the album. With a band motto as the simple yet always poignant “just being themselves”, Life Pilot seemingly carve a unique sound that is their own into the heavily populated genre.
The dominant vocal presence of Angus Long is always evident with his aggressive vocal tones delivering poetic lyrics inside a fast-paced vicious storm. The quality guitars of Jake Long and Will Everlyn reinforce Long’s vocals with the variety of guitars covering multiple genres of technical, metal and hardcore often interchanging seamlessly between songs creating waves throughout the album of different styles in it relatively short running time. The vital heavy and driving basslines and crucial drums delivered very well by Nick Evans and Eli Green, are definitely impressive, and add another strong mark on the album with the band hitting positive results on all their tracks.
To break down the tracks individually we look can look at the opening track, their single, ‘One’, which is a no nonsense, straight to the point statement that delivers their message in just 60 seconds – short, passionate and commanding. Their second track ‘Defy’ is a much sturdier and developed track, lyrically-centred and designed with many of the amazing riffs and sounds you will love to hear in your local mosh pit.
Track number three is ‘Bystander’, a solid drum intro that moves into progressively increasing intensity mixed with some cleaner vocal efforts. The track focuses on poetic concepts within the lyrics underneath Long’s harsh vocals.
Track four, ‘Too Hot For Killing’ is the album’s title track, the outlier track we all know from our favourite albums. However, with its love it or hate it approach the track opens with clean, overlapping and interwoven vocals. A slower track in comparison with tones in the similar vein and reminiscent of the creative genius of Glassjaw and The Deftones. A cleaner gem amongst the extreme. With its heartfelt lyrics, and passionate dynamic guitars finished with stunning classical tones fading out, make this one a standout song.
Track five titled ‘Next Question’ provides exchanging vocals and a performance from a man expelling and banishing personal demons across his lyrics. With lines like “speak for me your majesty” and “because you know everything, next question” you can feel the direction of the song quickly within the first listen.
The closing track ‘Knife Box’ follows the flow of the album with the track dominated by Long’s signature passionate screams. Easily mistaken maybe as just another intense, powerful track, with time you can identify the matured restraint used to create layers within the song to add extra depth that finish off an impressive album.
This short but intense album confirms how the band have grown significantly and developed a more mature style in Too Hot For Killing. The album demonstrates creative new dimensions for the band in comparison to their earlier High Noon and Compass releases, but definitely seems to keep all the right elements that give Life Pilot their chaotic creativeness.