At Best say they want to “put the human element back into contemporary music.” This is no small task, just this weekend Colonel Sanders played Ultra Music Festival and we’re all so desensitized to that shit that we just accepted it. In the face of such staggeringly capitalistic inhumanity, how does At Best fare? If their debut single Words in a Web is any indication, they plan to combat it by fucking shredding.
And boy, does this song fucking shred. The opening guitar arpeggios and dense production evoke fellow heavy alternative players Hoobastank or The Pixies, while the vocal delivery from lead singer/guitarist Lennon Cantwell are absolutely metal. He growls and screams his way through most of this track which, while I commend the tenacity of his vocal cords, does make it difficult to make out most if any of the lyrics he’s singing. There are also several moments on this track where his refined metal delivery teeters on a little cheesy, almost like a parody of fellow alternative vocalists.
The instrumentation on this track is equally intense and fantastic. Steph Brettman’s vicious drumming and Alicia Dickerson’s tempered bass feed into the perfect alt-rock atmosphere. However, this consistent alignment to the typical alternative sound is where the track suffers. Cantwell’s rough, gnarly vocals provide a nice edge, but for the most part Words in a Web is so similar to any given Pixies or even Foo Fighters cut that it’s difficult to parse a true sense of identity within the band. The closest we get here is a post-chorus guitar solo that absolutely soars along with the rest of the track, but at the end of the day, it’s a song I’ve heard before. At Best want to put the human element into contemporary music, and they’ve made a song with a ton of humanity, just not a lot of personality.
- Excellent and clean production (fucking shreds)
- Fantastic performances from the whole group
- A clear sense of songwriting direction
- Track is a little routine, generic
- Lyrics are indecipherable