2. Everything As Planned
3. What I Wished I Never Had
4. Cast the First Stone
5. The Way That We Have Been
6. A War Inside
7. Stay Inspired
8. Just Keep Breathing
9. Views That Never Cease, To Keep Me From Myself
10. What My Heart Held
11. I Can’t Make Your Decisions For You
12. Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be
Members: Joshua Moore (lead guitar), David Stephens (unclean vocals), Eric Choi (drums), Lou Cotton (rhythm guitar), Andrew Glass (bass guitar), and Kyle Pavone (clean vocals, keyboards, & synthesizer).
It may come as a surprise to you all that I am writing yet another core review. However, I think the new We Came As Romans album definitely deserves some recognition. WCAR is a post-hardcore band from Michigan that formed in 2005 and have since gained quite a lot of recognition and respect in their genre. “Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be” is their second full-length album (released on 9/13), following their 2009 release “To Plant A Seed.” Since the release of their debut album, and this year in particular, they have toured extensively with several really great bands including Close To Home, Of Mice and Men, The Word Alive, Asking Alexandria, Our Last Night and many more.
Usually touring helps a band to get their name out and to get their music heard, but for WCAR, I feel it was much more than that. Their time spent touring allowed them to have the chance to become a much stronger band and really discover who they are. “To Plant A Seed” was one of those albums that was hit or miss for me. There were some songs that I really liked and others that just didn’t really impress me. ”Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be” on the other hand is much more enjoyable than I expected it to be. I’m happy to say that my assumption was wrong, and that this band has come a long way from one album to the next.
One thing in particular that this album brings to the table is a great mix of screams and cleans. Each track brings just the right amount of each style of vocals so that the song is heavy without overpowering the music. I like that some songs start out with a hit in the face while others slowly work you up to the punch. I feel that the vocal performances from David and Kyle have improved since the last album.
Also, the music itself is much better than before. The keys and synth in the songs is much smoother now and couples great with the vocals. I’m glad that the rhythm in each song has some differentiation because that’s one of the big issues I have with post-hardcore these days. The majority of the bands just don’t know how to change up the sound from one song to the other. Now that I have this album, I can understand why WCAR has gained so much respect over the past couple years. They are one of the few bands in their genre that stand out from the rest.
Another note I want to point out is their lyrical value. Their songs are quite inspirational, and they touch on real life issues and how it’s always important to keep living and pushing forward. I particularly enjoyed “Just Keep Breathing” and “Mis/Understanding.” The title track is also a very good way to end the album. It’s a little slower and brings the story of the album to a close.
Overall, this is a pretty good example of what a post-hardcore album should be. The majority of the songs held my interest, and with the exception of a few, they were all an improvement from the previous album. WCAR still have tours planned for this year, including the “I’m Alive” Tour that they are participating in right now. If you have already seen them or are planning to later this year, let me know how these guys are live. Also, if you haven’t had the chance to pick up this album, make sure to check it out. Most post-hardcore fans will probably enjoy it.