Happiness In Self Destruction is The Plot In You’s most versatile release to date. Vocalist Landon Tewers has written exactly what he wanted to say without anyone telling him otherwise, making for a more personal record. The album has a total of 15 tracks, each with their own personality. Happiness In Self Destruction is The Plot In You both at their softest and at their heaviest. But no matter how soft or heavy, every song belongs and fits within the album. Every song has it’s own purpose and theme, making this album quite the journey.
It’s the vocals that truly make this album. Tewers’s range has greatly improved since their last album, Could You Watch Your Children Burn. Whether its his eerie whispers, trembling screams, deep gutturals or soothing yet at times haunting cleans, he has truly perfected his vocal range. Yet it wouldn’t stand out as much if it weren’t for the instrumentals complimenting his voice along the way. Breaking from the usual metalcore chugs and the excessive need for palm-muting breakdowns, Josh Childress (guitar) and Ethan Yoder (bass) show us that they can still produce a heavy album without having to rely on solely those techniques. Yes, they do use palm-muting and they have their breakdowns here and there, but it’s not overdone and abused like with other bands in the scene. Of course there are points where the riffs may lack originality, but that’s where the vocals come in to run point, making each song feel balanced and in sync.
The album starts off strong with “Hole in the Wall,” proving that they did not give up their roots on the heavy side of things. As the album progresses, it begins to mellow out with songs such as “Take Me Away.” You’ll soon follow the formula The Plot In You laid out before you, as it shifts from heavy to soft and a few mixed tracks in between, such as “My Old Ways.” There are about five softer songs on the album, leaving the rest to be either pure bangers or dark, twisted tunes much like one of my favorites, “Pillhead.” This song, and many others, has a resemblance to Tewers’s solo EP Dead Kid, but “Pillhead” has a dark spoken/whispered monologue that turns into one of the most memorable songs on the album, with a chilling chorus and amazing vocals to follow. One song to surely be repeated has to be “Time Changes Everything.” Not only does it tug at your heartstrings, giving any listener the feels, but it has a powerful chorus, and for a soft song, even has screams. The albums’ conclusion is definitely the most unique song off the album and is quite possibly the most personal Tewers has ever written. “Happiness In Self Destruction” tells us a story with some acoustic and ambient effects giving it an old-timey feel, as if it were from an old record. It concludes the album in a very sincere way, but also leaves you craving to drop the needle on the record to listen to it once more.
Happiness In Self Destruction is the perfect example of how a band should evolve. It is an album that combines past releases and side projects as well as adopting a new sound to separate themselves from the rest. Not only is it different, but it’s something that older fans will love as well as newcomers alike. The three year wait for this album was totally worth it and the work put into it was clearly shown. Make sure you stick around two minutes after the final song, for Tewers left us and Rise Records (with whom TPIY recently parted ways) a very special treat. This hidden track will make you truly appreciate the work he has put into the album as well as understand why the transition to Stay Sick Recordings was greatly needed.
by Justin LaMot