A band like LIMBS is always going to be under more scrutiny than others, and that’s not totally unfair either. While the state of metalcore has undoubtedly improved lately, there’s always going to be some desperate to reignite the genre’s old ways, and what’s worse is the reception they get usually implies they succeed. As such, there’s a general sense of apprehension towards a lot of bands in this vein, if only to separate the wheat from the chaff and ensure the ones getting success really deserve it.
With LIMBS though, there’s a lot to appreciate straight out the gate. For one, this Tampa Bay quintet are actually unafraid to keep the heft and gristle up, and thus Father’s Son ends up closer to the realms of Beartooth or latter-day Underøath. If fact, Beartooth is probably the best comparison point here, with a bleeding-heart delivery centred on realisations that childhood experiences have caused harm in later life. And just like Caleb Shomo, frontman Chris Costanza’s ripped-open emotion feels totally natural here, from the searing, discordant rage on Abba and Black Thumb to the vulnerable, purposely-underwritten Twelve Stones, which is something of a thematic lynchpin that really deepens the well that LIMBS venture down.
Even so, Father’s Son still carries a fair bit of evidence that LIMBS aren’t quite the finished article yet, particularly in a track like Tangled Hands that feels as though it could take its feedback-corrupted guitars into darker territory for a greater mood. That’s something overall that’s worth addressing; there’s still room for LIMBS to push themselves to really become a force, the same issues faced by Beartooth in their earliest years, and by co-opting the styles of a band like Vanna, there could be more grit in the instrumentation that could serve to do more heavy lifting. But viewed on its own merits, this brawlier, scrappier take on a traditional post-hardcore sound is a perfectly solid framework, and tracks like Weep and Crossed display melodic instincts that can still flow without resorting to big, shiny choruses.
In other words, LIMBS come across as a band making the pilgrimage to metalcore’s heavier climes without being entirely there yet, and thus seem to be working with what they have at the minute. It all comes together as a perfectly solid debut, not exactly pushing the envelope but serving as a refreshing palette-cleanser from swathes of overproduced, overworked metalcore. There’s already heaps of potential here too, and if LIMBS keep going in this direction, don’t be surprised to hear the name a lot more often.
For fans of: Beartooth, Underøath, Thousand Below
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Father’s Son’ by LIMBS is released on 27th April on UNFD.