Released June 25, 2013
Reviewed by Micah Garnett
If you’re unfamiliar with We As Human, they have been taking the rock world by storm this year. Discovered by John Cooper of Skillet, they were quickly signed to Atlantic Records and, after releasing an EP on the label, found themselves performing on Winter Jam, one of the largest tours in the country. This fall, they will be opening for Skillet, Shinedown, and Papa Roach on the Carnival of Madness tour. Is all this attention well deserved?
While most bands seem to be steering towards an easy, accessible sound, We As Human is doing just the opposite. Their self-titled album is full of face-melting rockers that will have you pumping your rawkfist gleefully in the air.
We As Human are clearly masters of their craft. With the help of producer Howard Benson, everything sounds smooth and tight. Lead single “Strike Back” is a shining example; as lead singer Justin Cordle exclaims, “The bigger you are, the harder you fall. You’re gonna suffer. Hit me, I’ll hit you harder.” “Dead Man”, a fan favorite from an earlier EP, makes an appearance here. It’s given a glossy makeover that makes it sound better than ever.
If there’s one thing We As Human is great at, it’s writing anthemic choruses that will be stuck in your head for weeks. “Bring To Life” and “Let Me Drown” are no exception. Both continue the string of excellent songs, but it’s on “Zombie” and “Take The Bullets Away” that WAH really step up their game. Both feature guest artists (John Cooper of Skillet and Lacey Sturm, respectively) who trade off with Cordle perfectly. “Zombie” is a fast paced, in-your-face rocker that talks about the dangers of drugs and addictions and how they can pull us away from God, while “Take The Bullets Away” is brutal rock perfection. Lacey’s appearance is a brief but memorable one, even unleashing a few unexpected screams. Both are early contenders for song of the year.
WAH isn’t ashamed to hide their faith on this album, as evidenced on “We Fall Apart”, a song about the sinful nature we all struggle with. I’m not a fan of radio friendly songs, but “We Fall Apart” sounds like a smash hit. It showcases the rare softer side of the band, and they execute it perfectly.
The album ends as strongly as it began, with “Taking Life”, “Sever,” and “I Stand”, all holding their own against the earlier songs. “I Stand” is a blatant mission statement for the band; as Cordle unabashedly declares: ”We play for love. We play for those who come out. And we don’t play for the money or the girls or the crowd” and “Yahweh alone is the only way”. It might be easy to forsake your beliefs and ideals to gain fame and earn fans, but We As Human has put their foot down. It’s hard not to respect that kind of honest passion.
We As Human’s self-titled album is not only one of the best debuts I’ve heard, it’s one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. It’s an album that deserves to be set on repeat and played at full volume. If you’re a rock fan, We As Human will tickle your ears and keep you satisfied for a long time. You’d don’t want to miss out on the hottest new band of 2013.
- Strike Back
- Dead Man
- Bring To Life
- Let Me Drown
- Zombie (feat. John Cooper)
- We Fall Apart
- Take The Bullets Away (feat. Lacey Sturm)
- Taking Life
- I Stand