(Erase Me album cover)
When the Billboard charts were released today, ‘Erase Me’ was listed at #4 on Top Album Sales, #1 Hard Music Albums, #2 Current Rock Albums, #2 Vinyl Albums, and #16 on the Top 200. Not bad for a band that hasn’t released an album in 8 years. ‘Erase Me’ is the 8th studio album by Underoath released by Fearless Records. Prior to that Underoath was hanging it up back in 2013 on a farewell tour and the fans gave their hopes up of hearing new music from them. In 2016 the band reunited performing the Rebirth Tour and it was then as drummer Aaron Gillipse said, “This is too important. It’s too important to our fans and it’s too important to us and the feelings we have playing together are too important to ignore.” In 2017 they went into the studio for the sixth time with producer Matt Squire and ‘Erase Me’ was born.
The album opens with “It Has To Start Somewhere” a hardcore, guns blazing, reminder that Underoath is back. With vocalist Spencer Chamberlain using a multitude of range throughout the song, he doesn’t hold back pouring everything into the chorus. This song would make a great set opener to get the crowd back. But, it’s actually “Rapture” that truly caught my attention as it’s not the hardcore that Underoath fans may expect. I absolutely love this song. It’s breathtaking both lyrically and musically. Every time I listen to it I catch myself singing along “There’s no turning back, There’s no coming down…”and I’m sure I’m not the only one doing it.
“Wake Me” is a nice change of pace song slowing the pace down while still keeping that rock edge. Lyrically I find it to be very sad with lyrics “Maybe this is just a cry for help, Maybe I should just forgive myself” and “Help, please I can barely breathe, Wake me, Give me a reason, reason”. Combined with the music it becomes an emotionally charged songs that a lot of listeners will not only understand but probably relate with the lyrics. Underoath shouldn’t fear that the band went away from their hardcore roots because “Sink With You” will bring that back to them. Screaming vocals and hard-hitting sounds bring the old Underoath familiarity.
“ihateit” is filled with self-loathing. This is darker tone song that appears to be about a drug abuser with lyrics “You’re the only thing that gets me high, And I hate it and I hate it” and “God erase me, I don’t deserve the life you give”. Yet, as dark as it is, it’s a solid song that you’ll listen to over and over. “No Frame” is a unique song that goes halfway through it with just keyboards and drums before the guitars and bass jump in. “I Gave Up” is probably the closest thing, next to “ihateit”, that I would possibly call a ballad. This too is filled with self-loathing and sounds like a suicidal person who is crying out for help.
Honestly, I wasn’t surprised by Underoath’s Billboard numbers when they released today. ‘Erase Me’ is a phenomenal album from end to end. The album has a little of everything for everyone. After such a long absence it’s great to see Underoath back. Underoath kicks off their No Fix Tour on April 20th in support of ‘Erase Me’ and will be making festival stops at Las Rageous, Welcome To Rockville, Carolina Rebellion, Rock on the Range, Rocklahoma, and even a few tour stops as part of the Vans Warped Tour.