Album Review: My Iron Lung – “Relief”

San Diego hardcore band My Iron Lung have come a long way since their first EP, Grief, came out in 2012. The band has seen members come and go, they’ve changed their songwriting style, and most importantly, their sound has matured. A lot.

On their new record, Relief, the band spreads it’s wings, and pulls in a lot of influences that weren’t visible on their EP. Immediately at the beginning of the album opener, “Commonwealth,” we hear a band that has moved past the current trends of the hardcore scene and moved towards the future. The band is squarely in tune with some of the bands on the forefront of the future of hardcore, bands like La Dispute and Pianos Become The Teeth.

But there’s something deeper than the frantic, desperate lyrical delivery from vocalist Matt Fitzpatrick. Guitars are more mathy, and noodle around more. The band delves into post-metal territory. Relief takes sound concepts from those sometimes inaccessible bands and blends them into their sound, adding a layer of complexity that works incredibly well on the record. This likely comes from the change in songwriting style, which Fitzpatrick notes was much more collaborative on Relief than the preceding Grief. Instead of coming together with an album already written on acoustic guitar, the band came together, fleshing out pieces in practices and on the road. The group’s new record comes just before the departure of Such Gold drummer Devan Bentley, as well, so his signature drum work is hard to miss here. Hopefully his contributions can be built upon for future releases, but the band has taken dramatic leaps forward, and if they continue to do so, they’re sure to continue to make waves throughout the scene.

4/5 Stars

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