Strangers Only by My Ticket Home (Rise Records)
My Ticket Home has been through dramatic changes since To Create A Cure, their standout debut for Rise Records. The band lost a few members along the way, including clean vocalist / guitarist Sean Mackowski, who went on to be a touring guitarist for the final months of Attack Attack! Incessant touring has only made My Ticket Home a much tighter unit, and in spite of the obstacles, the band has returned with a phenomenal second effort that will enrapture many and even puzzle a more than a few longtime fans. While the metalcore underscore is apparent, on Strangers Only, My Ticket Home has taken a trip into the vast terrains of nu-metal. If this was released at the height of the genre craze, Strangers Only would be up there with album favorites by stalwarts such as Snot, Adema, and Incubus. One listen to Strangers Only, and you’ll clearly see that My Ticket Home is fully engaged in their new found sound, and the results are impressive.
Spit Not Chewed kicks off Strangers Only on a wildly triumphant note, spewing a sonic assault into the faces of all detractors – a stunning commencement demonstrating the sheer intensity the listener is in for. Painfully Bored continues the slamming respite, with devastating breakdowns and it’s searing “Life is a drag” sentiments. The pulsating lather within Hot Soap bathes the listener with its pronouncement of “afraid love is a lie” reverberating throughout your stereo speakers with a thrilling fervor.
“I’m no good for you!” scream the vocals on Teenage Cremation, assaulting your senses with a commanding sense of urgency. Keep Alone then bursts into your psyche, where haunting clean and screamed vocals mesh well with the dark and relentless soundtrack. “I’m feeling okay when I want you” segues into the explosive You All Know Better Than Me, a tremendously in-your-face selection that should ignite pits all across the nation when performed live.
Head Change is a challenging change of pace, with the ominous clean vocals combusting into the “you’re the push, I’m the pull” midsection, sending the song into the desolate stratosphere. Foul Stench Of Youth features explosive lyrics delivered with a wondrously over-the-top fervor. Ayahuasca buzzes and boils with its powerful sense of misery and paranoia, followed by the supremely rapturous strains of closing cut Kick Rocks with the lyrics screaming “Bullshit. Poseur. Suck my poison!” with a venomous sense of condemnation.
Strangers Only may a risky venture for a band trying to establish and further their fan base, but the fact is My Ticket Home remain on an adventurous musical journey that is well worth checking into. They’ve been watching other Rise bands break out into the big leagues over the last few years, and now with Strangers Only, this Columbus, Ohio-based collective will surely find themselves traveling their own road into the hearts of many a music fan.
The resourceful My Ticket Home lineup consists of Nick Giumenti on bass and vocals, Derek Blevins on guitar and vocals, Marshal Giumenti on drums and vocals, and Matt Gallucci on guitar and vocals. The album was skillfully recorded at Machine Shop with Will Putney and Randy Leboeuf. No sophomore slump here – Strangers Only marks a second fantastic chapter to what is sure to be a brilliant and imaginative career in music.
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
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