Erase Me, the new album from Underoath and their Fearless Records debut, is their first full length release featuring the most well known lineup — including Aaron Gillespie — since 2008’s Lost In The Sound Of Separation. It marks a fresh start for the band, and as such, to fully appreciate it, you no doubt have to treat it as an independent unit. The band isn’t trying to make Define The Great Line 2.0 here, so to come to the album expecting that will set you up for a letdown. That album came out 12 years ago, so it’s hardly unnatural — in fact, it’s no doubt healthy — for the band members to have evolved over that time period both as individuals and as musicians.
Although you’re not going to find a carbon copy of any of the band’s previous albums here, what you are going to find is a record packed full of feeling, intent, and even purpose. It feels at times as though the band members grew tired of maintaining their past personas and have really set themselves free here. Besides the obvious indications of this trend, such as frontman Spencer Chamberlain feeling free to curse on the record, paying attention to exactly what Chamberlain and Gillespie are singing about reveals the same trend.
The band freely explores questions of everything from faith to mental health on the record in no uncertain terms. Overtones of being tired of stale religious trappings reverberate through the album, as does the recurring theme of overcoming addictions. At times, the band gets so vulnerable that it’s simultaneously relatable and heartbreaking, such as on the final track, “I Gave Up.”
Overall, Chamberlain maintains his unique and captivating touch on this release as a frontman that helped rocket the band to stardom all those years ago, a touch that is accompanied by impassioned drumming from Aaron Gillespie, inventive electronic arrangements from Chris Dudley, and guitarists Timothy McTague, James Smith, and bassist Grant Brandell rounding out the record quite fittingly.
Considering the length of time that has passed since the band’s first releases, it’s in a way remarkable that they’ve taken their place in the more modern music scene with their new record, Erase Me. It’s an album that is simultaneously quite enjoyable to listen to and that obviously came from a place of renewed artistic vigor for the members of Underoath.