Fronted by Layla Brooklyn Allman, California melodic metalcore upstarts, Picture Me Broken are set to own 2013. They have set the stage with their December 18 “Mannequins” EP release on Standby Records. The EP gives listeners a decidedly wicked taste of what is to come on the band’s forthcoming full-length, “Corrupt Me”, due out next spring.
It’s Allman’s goal to instigate the resurgence of grandiosity and mystique to rock and roll and listening to her pour it all out on the band’s new EP it would be a bad bet to take that she won’t achieve such a lofty goal.
The band’s sound recalls In This Moment meets Black Veil Brides, but that description is an oversimplification. There are far too many elements at play here from the band’s metal base, to touches of screamo, electonica, hard rock, and even, gasp, pop overtones. Fans of the band’s debut 2010 album “Wide Awake” may be nonplussed to hear Brooklyn and crew shed much of the original screamo for something more engaging and memorable. Fret not, the anger and aggression is still in play.
The opening track is the first single, “Torture” which gives us a haunting piano interlude that jumps down your throat with a crunchy riff and a throaty growl. This is an outstanding combination of soaring vocals, rich melody, and heavy rhythms.
“Mannequins” is more of an uptempo rocker, and Allman plays her sweet clean vocals against her caustic rasps perfectly giving the track an edgy, ballsy vibe. She also has a penchant for penning heartfelt ballads, a taste of which we get on the piano driven “Beautiful Disguise”.
The EP closes out with “Nothing Further From the Truth”, another uptempo crowd pleaser that packs a melodic wallop.
Along with Allman on vox and keyboards, the line-up includes; bassist Austin Dunn, drummer Shaun Foist, and guitarists Dante Phoenix and Jimmy Strimpel.
When a band is this young and attractive, people have low expectations for success (perhaps it’s the sheer audacity that one could be so young, so beautiful, and have the temerity to also have a bucket of talent to boot). Picture Me Broken plays like a band well beyond its years and more competent than its shiny, happy looks. Brooklyn’s lyrics are inspired and make one forget that she’s only 19. Then again, she’s happy to shatter the mindless stereotypes of the elitist and judgmental critics.
The talent exists here for something huge, and they are just getting started. Jump on now and enjoy the ride.
Catch our recent interview with Brooklyn Allman.
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Rustyn Rose is a veteran music journalist who owns and operates Metalholic Magazine and Metalholic Radio.