This week’s edition of New Music Friday began with polarizing opinions of the new record from metalcore-turned-pop-rock icons Bring Me the Horizon. After years of pushing their brutal metalcore sound, BMTH turned heads when they released their 2015 record That’s The Spirit, where longtime fans were forced to come to terms with the fact that Oliver Sykes isn’t screaming anymore and the heavy breakdowns are far and few between. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t fuck with it at first considering I’ve loved the band since the Count Your Blessings days, but it grew on me as I (and my music taste) matured.
That’s the same vibe you’ll feel when you listen to amo, the band’s most pop-leaning effort to date. Back when they revealed the album’s first single, “MANTRA,” BMTH seemed as if they were sticking to the groundwork made on That’s The Spirit — it’s still rock, but generally softer than what one would expect if they hadn’t heard the band in years. The next single came in the form of “wonderful life” featuring Dani Filth (yes, for real), which single-handedly thrust us back into the mosh pit. Arguably the hardest track off the album, what’s so funny about “wonderful life” lies in the absolutely absurd lyricism: “Oi, Debbie Downer, what’s your problem? / Don’t wanna be here, still call a shotgun / You got the FOMO coursing through my veins.” There’s no way you can listen to that and not want to roll your eyes or laugh out loud, but that’s exactly what musical freedom is supposed to feel like — Oliver Sykes really got away with saying that on a record and successfully made me scream it at the top of my lungs while listening to that song in my car.
Now that the whole thing is out, amo marks a pivotal moment in Bring Me the Horizon’s career. From electronica cuts like “nihilist blues” featuring Grimes to pop-rock anthems like “medicine,” it’s clear there’s no record quite like this. There’s a selection of in-betweener songs that don’t really lie on, well, any point of the genre spectrum: “fresh bruises” feels like it could have been made by a young aspiring producer in his basement who just struck gold on a hot new sound. The jump from That’s The Spirit to amo is a leap of faith, and it’s worth discussing whether or not you fuck with it. I can’t even confidently say I fuck with it hard, but I’m absolutely here for wherever this band decides to go.
If you’ve gotta ease yourself into the chaotic energy of this record, I recommend you start with the rock-leaning cuts like “wonderful life,” “medicine,” and “sugar honey ice & tea.” It’ll get easier to lend your ear to the poppier, electronic-inspired tunes once you’ve fully let yourself into the creative space helmed by the band’s newfound sense of self in 2019. To leave you with one final statement, my parents once told me when I was in eighth grade that I wouldn’t be listening to Bring Me the Horizon in 10 years. They were wrong — BMTH grew up with us, and I personally can’t thank ’em enough for sticking around and discovering new avenues to give us what we want: totally shameless listening.
Bring Me the Horizon are on tour of the United States now. Check out their tour dates along with the new record below.
First Love Tour Dates (Tickets)
Jan 23 – Nashville, TN Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Jan 25 – Orlando, FL CFE Arena
Jan 26 – Atlanta, GA Coca-Cola Roxy
Jan 28 – Fairfax, VA EagleBank Arena
Jan 29 – Manhattan, NY Hammerstein Ballroom
Feb 1 – Boston, MA Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
Feb 2 – Montreal, QC Place Bell
Feb 4 – Detroit, MI Fillmore Detroit
Feb 5 – Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom
Feb 6 – Minneapolis, MN Armory
Feb 8 – Dallas, TX South Side Ballroom
Feb 9 – Houston, TX Revention Music Center
Feb 11 – Denver, CO The Fillmore Auditorium
Feb 13 – Los Angeles, CA The Forum
Feb 15 – Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
Feb 16 – Las Vegas, NV The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino