When it came time for New Years Day to write a new album following 2015’s Malevolence, vocalist Ash Costello was ready to show a new side of herself. That new, more positive and confident attitude shows prominently on the band’s latest album, Unbreakable.
Billed as one of their pop-iest and heaviest albums to date, much of Unbreakable comes at you in the form of easy to swallow heavy rock. Sludgy guitars and pounding drums are a constant in nearly every song on the album while the melodies add in elements of pop-y hard rock and gothic theatricality, though most of the songs favor the former.
First track “Come For Me,” a heavier piece with distorted vocals and throaty screaming, starts things off powerfully, followed by the slyly sweet but equally sludgy “MissUnderstood.” Singles “Skeletons” and “Shut Up” are solid, upbeat tracks with memorable pop-fueled melodies. “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Break My Body” are just as catchy as the singles. “Poltergeist’s” melody is slow and dramatic, setting up for a more reflective tone that’s continued in the slightly more upbeat and catchy “My Monster.” The album ends as strong as it starts with the anthemic, all-encompassing “I Survived,” tying up the album and leaving the listener with a well-rounded, satisfying ending.
Confidence is a recurring theme within the lyrics of the album’s songs. “Come For Me” provokes anyone who disagrees with Costello to take it up with her. The title track has one of the most triumphant melodies on the album, bolstered by hard-hitting drums, heavy guitars and echoing vocals. That’s followed by “Shut Up” with its no-holds-barred, “I know what I want, that’s what you’re going to give me” attitude. “I Survived,” an empowering anthem that once again swings triumphant with lyrics that express a new-found freedom stemming from overcoming one’s obstacles.
With Unbreakable, New Years Day is able to show a new side to their pop-laced hard rock without straying too far from their original sound. The album is filled with well-written, memorable lyrics that put Costello’s newfound confidence prominently on display. Paired with some of the band’s heaviest riffs, Unbreakable finds the band making some of their most powerful and necessary music to date.