Review by Dom Vigil
Divides showcase their versatility and ability to create diverse songs on their new album, Brokentooth. Right from the very beginning, Divides provide a sound that can’t be found from many artists - distorted guitar and aggressive growls pull you into the first track, “Holes in the Floor,” but the crisp, clean and stunning clean vocals are what really hook you and keep you around for all ten songs. While Brokentooth does have its ups and downs, as well as its strengths and weaknesses, one thing is certain - Divides have really come into their own with this album.
“Holes in the Floor,” kicks off strong with layered vocals parts and a strong guitar intro, but unfortunately, the screams in this track seem to fall a little flat, lacking the same energy that the clean vocals and instrumentals host. It also seems, as the song moves forward, that there isn’t much of a structure to it. The vocals and lyrics are very crisp, which is a high point, but they also tend to overpower the rest of the band at times. “Holes in the Floor” has its strengths and weaknesses, but thankfully the following track, “Supersymmetry,” seems to make up for the first track’s shortcomings. “Supersymmetry” hosts that strong structure that “Holes in the Floor” seems to be lacking, and the guitar work and vocals work very well together. “Supersymmetry” seems to ebb and flow as it explodes into bright and strong clean choruses before settling into a softer verse and bridge. The vocal work on this song, much like the first track, is also very strong.
“Echoes Fade” starts off rather quiet and mellow, but hosts some of the strongest vocal harmonies on Brokentooth. However, the distorted guitar parts sometimes don’t fit the mood and tone of the song entirely. The best part of “Echoes Fade,” though (and arguably one of the best parts of the whole album) is when the music cuts out and the beautiful vocals really shine. It’s smart, beautiful moments like this that really showcase Divides’ strong songwriting abilities.
“Sails and Anchor” shows a softer side to Divides that was previously unheard before. This quieter side of the band is a nice change of pace from the rougher, distorted guitars and aggressive vocals. “Sails and Anchor” is soft and pretty, showing that Divides are definitely more than capable of multiple sounds. The following song, “Siren” is a testament to Divides’ strengths in aggressive and harder-hitting tracks, as well. These two songs side by side are proof that, while they’re absolutely capable of hitting home on aggressive and abrasive tracks, Divides also sine on softer, slower songs. And thankfully, those differences in sound aren’t too wide or obvious. While the two sounds are vastly different (especially when “Siren” transitions into the following track, “Alpenglow”) neither sounds out of place for Divides. Vocalist CJ Marie is to thank for much of this, as her vocals are very versatile and seem to fit in with many different sounds and genres, making those transitions virtually seamless.
When the first track on Brokentooth begins, it’s easy to think that you have Divides all figured out, but as the album progresses, it’s obvious that this group is more than just distorted guitars, aggressive screams and crisp vocals. Emotion runs high on the softer, slower songs on the album, such as “Alpenglow” or “Sails and Anchor,” providing quite a bit of versatility from Divides. This group really shines on their mellow tracks, but they have a way of making the softer moments and harder songs really work well together, making Brokentooth well worth listening to.
Listen to "Sails and Anchor"