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Album Review: Smother by Frameworks

Emotional hardcore act Frameworks release their highly anticipated sophomore album Smother on 8th July via Deathwish Inc. Whilst the album retains the core sound of Frameworks it sees a massive leap forward in quality. The album dynamically pulses with hook-laden melodious riffs and moving emotional crescendos.

After a string of EP releases, Frameworks released their Loom album on the Topshelf label in 2014. The album was well received worldwide by critics and listeners alike. In early 2016, Frameworks returned with their Time Spent EP. A well-received release that showed the band broadening their approach through the use of darker, more experimental instrumentation.

Smother is an album that you can instantly fall in love with. The blend of emotionally wrought vocals, hooks, thunderous riffs and a mature and refined brand of hardcore suckers you in and keeps you on your toes for all 35 minutes. It’s as if Frameworks have taken the finest points of Touché Amore, Modern Life Is War and Pianos Become The Teeth creating a sound so powerful and relatable that it weaves its way into your subconscious becoming part of you, becoming your best friend, becoming your favourite record.

The quality of Smother is such that every track shines and fits perfectly. The album flows wonderfully and feels like it should be enjoyed as one complete piece. It doesn’t take long for you to realise that Frameworks are onto something special here. Opener ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ has the hallmarks of a hardcore beast whilst being the catchiest and most immediate track on the album. Both title track ‘Smother’ and ‘Purge’ amp up the emotional hardcore element, the latter especially as it works its way to your core tugging on your heart strings and leaving you emotionally scarred.  ‘Song Of Myself’ sums up the leap in quality, creating an atmosphere that surrounds the listener in a world of riffs and emotion.

After a tentative start, ‘Tinnitus’ excels with its crescendo while both ‘Marathon’ and ‘Tangled’ could be considered the go-to points such is the power behind each track. It’s with songs like these that really make you stand up and take notice of Frameworks; these are amongst the most emotionally hard hitting tracks of the year. You can’t help but be swept up in the passion.  If that wasn’t enough for you, album closer ‘The New Narcissistic American Dream’ is not only the perfect album closer but one of the best tracks of 2016, my words couldn’t do it justice.

Smother is essential; Frameworks have pulled it out of the bag here. Put aside any other record you’re looking forward to and get all over this.

AD Rating 9/10

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