This is Defeater’s third in a series of concept albums chronicling the life of a post war family in New Jersey, which is a pretty nice idea, with this particular album telling the story of the father. The first couple of tracks struggle to get moving, but once the third track, ‘Hopeless Again’ hits in, the album really gets moving. The drumming is consistently excellent throughout and there are plenty of rhythmical changes to keep things interesting, while the guitars and bass combine well to conjure up some excellent throbbing soundscapes. As can sometimes happen with hardcore records, the fairly relentless screaming vocal style can detract from the atmosphere somewhat, during some (but not all) of the quieter sequences, which makes the album a little tiring in places, but these passages are fairly few and far between. If you like your music abrasive, atmospheric, and more than a little screamy, Letters Home is definitely one to check out.
Review requested by Lance, one of our loyal readers.