With the numbers they put up with debut LP Lifelines and the warm reception they received at Warped Tour, I Prevail clearly has designs on going mainstream. How grand are these designs? Well if Lifelines was them knocking at the door of stardom, Trauma (Fearless Records) is an urban assault vehicle demolishing the front gate and making its way through mainstream America.
Following on from their self-released debut album Reformation in 2013, Poughkeepsie, NY based Meridian have been gathering an impressive following across America in the past year. Despite their age, with every member of the band being under 21, this fresh out of high school quintet have already landed themselves a spot on the roster of Victory Records for their sophomore album The Awful Truth alongside bands such as A Day to Remember, Ill Nino and Sister Sin.
It seems there is an endless procession of bands proclaiming that they have emerged as saviors of a genre recently, and this band is no exception stating Meridian was formed to save a dying scene. Despite these claims, the band doesn’t rigidly stick within the confines of one genre, rooting themselves in hardcore, but mixing in lashings of metalcore and a distinct pop sensibility. It’s not too often you find an abrasive genre like hardcore mixed in with the catchy nuances of pop music, and this album proves this is for good reason. Their attempts to tackle hard-hitting topics like depression and childhood neglect are marred by catchy pop vocal lines that distract from their message. The impact is lost under layers of auto-tune and awkward breakdowns.
Although the vocals generally dominate each track, switching between screams and clean melodic lines they are quickly revealed as the weakest part of the music. The screams lacking depth and cleans are over-embellished which rapidly proves irritating. While the catchy quality may gather a teen following, their music creates very little impact for the more seasoned hardcore listener.