Band: August Burns Red
Title: Looks Fragile After All
Label: C.I. Records
The debut release from Pennsylvania's AUGUST BURNS RED. Blending brutal metallic hardcore and unrelenting breakdowns without losing melody, “Fragile” delivers with one of the few debut releases that has the maturity and feel of a band that has been around for years.
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Looks Fragile After All ABR| Posted June 20, 2015
If you’ve heard of metalcore, then you’ve probably heard of August Burns Red. The Lancaster quintet has gained much respect and quite a following among the metalcore fans of the world. Their style is continually changing in an effort to keep the genre, or at least their music, interesting. As lead guitarist J.B. Brubaker said, “I feel like anyone who can pick up and play a guitar and learn to play a metalcore riff and any drummer who can learn to play a thrash beat over a breakdown is doing it . . .” right around the time their Leveler record hit the shelves. Though they are metalcore bread and butter now, they most definitely had humble beginnings. Their debut EP, Looks Fragile After All was released by CI Records in 2004. After original vocalist Jon Hershey left, Solid State picked them up and Thrill Seeker was released a year later, featuring the vocal talents of Josh McManness. McManness left before 2007’s Messengers was released, being replaced by their current vocalist Jake Luhrs. Constellations, their most successful album to date came out in 2009 with Lost Messengers: The Outtakes. Leveler was released two years later, followed by Rescue & Restore in 2013. Their latest album Found in Far Away Places is set to be released in July 2015, preceded by two singles, “The Wake” and “Identity.”
Looks Fragile After All (2004): 5 tracks, 23 minutes:
As I mentioned before, Looks Fragile After All was a humble beginning. While very talented as a whole, the five-song EP comes across as repetitive and bland. That’s not to say that the songs aren’t good; they are. Most of them just sound the same, making it hard to listen to it straight through. Some highlights include the opening track, “Background Music to Her Awakening,” specifically the odd riff that J.B. makes good use of after the hardcore breakdown. It almost sounds like “Death Will Reign” by Impending Doom. "Glory Thrives” and “You Should Be Taking Flight Right Now” feature some monologues, and “Accidental Shot Heard ‘Round the World” contains an acoustic jam at the end. Other than that, it’s mostly weird throaty screams, odd-metered chords, and Matt Greiner going nuts on the drums.
There’s some violent imagery in “Accidental Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” but other than that this EP is clean.
“Background Music to Her Awakening” mourns “She used to remind me that all is not lost, / As long as what you failed doing was something worth / More than just your arrogant pride.” The lyrics are good when you can understand them, but a lot of them are very cryptic and somewhat repetitive.
Although it might not be a masterful set of songs, Looks Fragile After All definitely showcases ABR’s musical talents. It’s always been the band’s philosophy to keep moving forward and sort-of go against the grain of the mainstream. So, if you’re a fan of August Burns Red, or you just like progressive bands, this EP is for you. 7/10
 Graff, Gary (2011). Metalocalypse Now!!! Mayhem Fest 2011. Revolver. pp. 42–43. 1527-408X