At the start of the year, Bring Me The Horizon released the brilliant, genre-bending album ‘Amo’. All pop-metal and forward motion, this was an album that saw the band continue their charge from deathcore outsiders to arena rock heavyweights. Every release since their 2006 debut has been more accessible than the last – not to mention more successful – and their summer victory parade at the top of the bill at All Points East Festival proved that they’ve undeniably joined the big leagues.
And this head-scratching, ragtag, chaotic new EP features their long-awaited collaboration with Halsey, as well as appearances from Yonaka, Lotus Eater – Bring Me frontman Oli Sykes’ favourite new band – and rap artist Bexey. But with tracks often breaking the 10-minute mark and the full title ‘Music to listen to~dance to~blaze to~pray to~feed to~sleep to~talk to~grind to~trip to~breathe to~help to~hurt to~scroll to~roll to~love to~hate to~learn Too~plot to~play to~be to~feel to~breed to~sweat to~dream to~hide to~live to~die to~GO TO’, it’s not exactly designed for the masses.
There’s not a single track here that you’d expect to hear blasting from the main stage of the Reading & Leeds Festival,s and any notion that BMTH were making music to appease other people is well and truly thrown out the window (before being doused in petrol and lit on fire).
Opening track ‘Steal Something’ spends nine minutes swaggering with steady beats and the occasional blast of trumpets, before the closing 60-seconds ushers in distorted vocal samples discussing dreams. It doesn’t get any more predictable from here on in. ‘A Devastating Liberation’ echoes ‘Amo’ highlight ‘Why You Gotta Kick Me When I’m Down?’, while also soundtracking an epic video game battle before the Game Boy chime of ‘¿’ sees Halsey re-work ‘Amo’ cut ‘In The Dark’ with a harder, industrial snarl.
Elsewhere Lotus Eater is unleashed during the glitchy, electronic 24-minute sonic adventure that is ‘Underground Big’: it’s a burst of dangerous excitement and feels like the passing of a baton. Meanwhile Yonaka’s Theresa Jarvis takes the spotlight on closing track ‘±ªþ³§’, and shines bright. Never calculated, the record feels like a bunch of mates messing around with music and having fun.
‘Music To…’ takes the electronic exploration of ‘Amo’ one step further – without worrying about legacy, clout or expectation. It’s an intense, occasionally confusing listen that definitely won’t be for everyone, but it never feels like hard work. It’s a record that asks questions but never waits for answers as it leans heavily into the idea of escape and chasing dreams. ‘Underground Big’ starts as guided meditation that quickly descends into a free-flowing spoken word soliloquy, with Oli Sykes tackling religion, politics, inequality, success, self-worth, self-improvement, annihilation and unity. He’s self-aware – “We just use autotune and shit. And I can’t sing well, I just have passion and lyrics” – but unafraid to say what’s on his mind. “I think we’ve got more than five senses” he intones as he bares his soul like never before.
Release date: December 27
Record label: Sony/RCA