It’s “Minutes To Midnight” All Over Again : The Bring Me The Horizon Conundrum

 

“Oh no, I’m losing my band!” The vigilant cries from YouTube comments populated within minutes of Bring Me The Horizon posting their third single, “True Friends” on August 25th. I found it interesting that Bring Me The Horizon has been stating that they wanted to be a “gateway” band like Linkin Park. We are about a week before they release their latest album, That’s The Spirit and the three songs they have released has shown a shift in their sound – more so from 2013’s Sempiternal.  “Happy Song”, is a groove, alternative rock jam that will definitely garnish some mainstream radio play if it hasn’t already. “Throne” is a declaration of strength very reminiscent of Linkin Park’s “Faint”, and “True Friends” seem to mix these influences into a blender for a concoction that is sort of mixed of everything we have heard so far. I’m a bit befuddled. Don’t we want to seem some sort of evolution from our musicians instead of their cro-magnon beginnings? BMTH are far away from being “Off The Heezay” and don’t like to play those songs from Pray For Plagues. I began to go back into my album rolodex (well really, iTunes library) to figure out which album would predict what’s to come. Why not start at Linkin Park’s third record, Minutes To Midnight?

Back in April 2007, Linkin Park released “What I’ve Done” to rock radio. This was after a brief hiatus and a couple of side projects (Mike Shinoda‘s Fort Minor, Chester Bennington‘s Dead By Sunrise). I’m going to admit to you that it took a while for the song to grow on me. This was a preface to the whole Minutes To Midnight era ushering in Linkin Park becoming a rock band. No, like a real rock band. The band’s previous first singles “One Step Closer” and “Somewhere I Belong” were a little bit more hard-hitting and within my comfort zone. The song itself is a farewell to the One Step Closer/Meteoria era. The little electronic glitches, sampling, and scratches were kept to a major minimum. “In Between” and the bonus track, “No Roads Left” had lead vocalist Mike Shinoda singing. Where were the raps? They were there with “Hands Held High”, but not as prevalent.  To be fair, we had some of the hardest songs from LP to date with “Given Up” and “No More Sorrow”. Generally, the album was more mid-tempo, more ballads – what happened to my band? With their first two albums, Linkin Park was still “our” band. The younger versions of the nu-metal bands that I can relate to. This album ushered an era where they weren’t just “my” band anymore. You can’t be selfish with music and with a more rock sound, LP was going to a broader audience and I was losing my grip.

Why do I bring up that album? It’s very easy to give the freak-out, knee jerk reaction once a band changes their sound. MTM is a good litmus test of where the road is going to lead us with Bring Me The Horizon. Lead singer Oli Sykes is becoming a better singer and cutting down on the screaming. The addition of Jordan Fish to the band has exponentially lifted the band with their songwriting. Just listen to “Throne”. The song itself is very well structured despite your feelings to it whether conductive or adverse. I had to listen to Minutes to Midnight about ten times and with each listen, it got a little better. I had to understand, like me, people grow. We should probably give that lead way to musicians as well. The band who made Suicide Season  is not here anymore. Would we really want that anyway? I have a feeling that fans would be throwing collective fits if the band made the same album over and over again.

Most of Bring Me The Horizon are near their late twenties. If anything, we should applaud the ascension of a band from the “scene” to selling out Wembley Stadium. They probably won’t be headlining the shark stage at Warped Tour anymore and that’s ok. No really, it’s ok.  Just imagine if bands like PVRIS and Beartooth can have that same growth. It’s an ultimate win for a scene that older people dismiss. It will get so hard to ignore it that the VMAs won’t be full of filter or  lack of rock music. Minutes To Midnight may not be my favorite album from Linkin Park, but I appreciated the body of work because musicians are collectively changing. When That’s The Spirit is released – give it a fair listen and then make your decision. The beauty of technology these days is if you want the old band back, it’s as easy as creating a playlist.

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