Album Review: Famous Last Words – Two-Faced Charade


Famous Last Words, a screamo outfit out of Michigan, debut ‘Two-Faced Charade,’ a massive, exciting album that brings a melodic pop element to some crushingly intense hardcore.

‘Welcome to the Show’ opens the album with a theatrical buildup full of tinkling electric piano and strings before a screaming crescendo. This dramatic opener hits on what this band is great at. There are strong, melodic vocals with a huge contrast of the different screams. It’s catchy and energetic without losing the intensity of the double bass pedal and heavy guitars.

The screaming and singing combination is really what puts this album over the edge. Sure, there are tons of bands with a clean singer and some screamers, but not many are this good at it. ‘Victim of the Virtuoso’ and ‘Legends and Legacies’ show how the band is able to take such a harsh sound and keep it from being inaccessible. The melodies are so light and pop driven and it is those screams that keep the songs perfectly balanced.

That balance is shown in the perfect contrast Famous Last Words brings to everything. ‘Voices,’ for example, starts out a bit dramatic, with some punk-pop flair with slightly cheesy lyrics and minimal screaming before breaking in with a hugely heavy breakdown, shattering the calm of the beginning. ‘To Play Hide and Seek with Jealousy’ has theatrical sounding piano and strings, with melodramatic lyrics and melody. This is again shattered by a completely different sounding bridge with a brutal breakdown that makes this one of the best, most dynamic tracks on ‘Two-Faced Charade.’

It seems like the band has really figured out how they want to sound. They have a true understanding of arrangements and composing and integrate just the right amount of effects to keep it relevant. While there are recurring elements here, like the deep, resounding strings and piano more at home in a play house than a concert stage, each song has it’s own unique sound. Key changes, musical interludes, and interesting use of rhythm and lyrical pacing takes them from average to amazing.

It’s hard to articulate just how good this band is. If you like those screamer/singer type bands, this is a no-brainer. Famous Last Words has figured out just how to balance all of their talents out evenly. ‘Two-Faced Charade’ is a strong, solid example of melodic hardcore and hopefully it gets the recognition it deserves.


‘Two-Faced Charade’ by Famous Last Words is out now on In Vogue Records.

Famous Last Words links: Facebook|Twitter

Words by Jenny Gagas (@Jenny_herself)


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