One of the rarely talked about aspects of signed artists is the label and their affiliated roster. Some labels tend to cater towards certain sounds and audiences, others tend to be able to help smaller, more niche oriented bands blossom into something bigger while some let the bands find their footing and stay out of the creation process in general. This obviously means that not every band is meant for every label and vice-versa, even though at the time, it may come across as a solid fit. Back in December of 2014, it was announced that Irish metalcore outfit Follow My Lead had signed to Fearless Records; a label that obviously turns head. Unfortunately, for the band and the label, nothing seemingly came of it as the band parted ways with original vocalist Mattie Foxx and split from Fearless. Fast forward 16 months and the five-piece announced their return in an exciting way with a new front-man, a new home on InVogue Records and the announcement of a much anticipated debut album in Spit, Kick, Revolt. After such a long gap of activity, the band is finally ready to unleash their creation onto the world, but how did the delay affect the bands direction?
From the opening note to the last chord, Spit, Kick, Revolt is a full frontal assault of aggressiveness and fast paced instrumentation which in a sense is a reflection of the albums’ title. The full on rampage hits the listener immediately with the opening track, “Burning Man” which utilizes harsh vocals, intense drumming and heavy-laden riffs providing a rather straightforward metalcore sound. While the intensity found on the first track provides the base sound for the album, there’s a fair amount of versatility in a multitude of tracks that prevent the album from becoming a monotonous affair. The lead single, “Jugular” provides the first taste of signing, “Vir(us)” gives the listener a stylistic change as it introduces a more nu-metal focused sound with scratching and a spit verse in place of the stereotypical singing and “Caustic” provides a switch up of instrumentals utilizing less aggressiveness and more melody.
One of the simplest aspects of what a listener wants in music is the realness to it; to feel the passion and emotion of a band poured into their record, knowing they gave it their all, even if it may not be the best sound. With Spit, Kick, Revolt, there’s an undeniable amount of passion and emotion found throughout its entirety. This is a record full of aggression, with moments of solitude sprinkled in between rampant, intense anger and rapid pacing. However, there are doses of variety to be found with carefully utilized scratching, well-crafted melodies and periods of calmness to keep it sounding fresh for multiple listens. After experiencing such a rollercoaster of highs and lows so early in their career, Follow My Lead have been awaiting this moment for what probably feels like eternity, and the time has finally come for them to experience their highest high. For their debut album, they wanted to craft a record that thematically is about challenging yourself and fighting for something that’s important, while making it nuanced enough to be not be repetitive in sound, and that’s what this record delivers.