The Plot In You is a metalcore band fronted by Landon Tewers, and has as of late gone through some pretty drastic musical changes. The mention of Landon specificially is important, because throughout the majority of The Plot In You’s existence he was the sole writer/producer, only having the rest of the band perform with him live. To date, the band has released one EP, and four studio albums. Their fifth, titled Swan Song, releases 9/17/2021.
While their first three releases positioned themselves in the angry, nu-metal influenced metalcore genre with the likes of bands like Sworn In and Alpha Wolf, with the release of Happiness In Self Destruction they really began expanding beyond the boundaries they set for themselves. Their songs began to feel larger than life, and Landon began experimenting more with vocal styles, bringing forth an unrivaled sense of emotion. Then, in 2017, they wiped the slate entirely clean. Whereas Happiness In Self Destruction felt new, but still had the bitter, angry sound, their fourth album, Dispose, had virtually nothing left of their previous sounds. Landon had released a statement about the drastic departure, saying, “I’ve written three and a half records worth of heavy music. I want to expand and challenge myself.” He did, and fans were left with an emotionally gripping, theatrical display of pop-influenced metalcore.
Fast forward to 2021. Swan Song. Their fifth studio album, and second release through Fearless Records. Though the credits state that there are two producers, Landon recently revealed that partway through the crating of the record, he intended to take the on the project himself, stating, “As a producer, I felt confident enough to take on all of the work. I decided rather than punishing someone else, it was best to do it myself.” Swan Song, overall, is just that – a swan song. A love letter to their past while fully embracing their present. A wonderful blend of the aggressive passion of Happiness In Self Destructive and the soaring catchiness of Dispose.
The record starts off with all bets off with the track Letters to a Dead Friend. As the title should imply, it’s one of their most emotionally heavy songs to date. It pulls us in gently at first with a sullen ambience and static, and an opening line of, “Some nights I lay awake and think of ones who passed away”, sparing no time in hurting our core, then reminiscing on their past together before breaking into a verse that would fit right at home in Take Me Away. Before our first entry into the record ends, however, they share a taste of what’s to come. If you missed their heaviness on Dispose, worry not – we start off with one of their most blistering breakdowns they’ve written. Backed with lyrics like, “It should be me in the ground a thousand fucking times”, it pounds the listener over and over again with angry riffs, proving to be one of their most passionate, angry, emotionally exhausting songs, and the album doesn’t let up from there.
We dive headfirst into the second track, Fall Again, which unmistakably sounds like a nu-metal b-side from Happiness In Self Destruction with a powerhouse chorus of, “If you fall again, you’re on your own.” Landon shared that most of the lyrics on the record are quite bitter, referencing friendships that had fallen apart over the years. While being an incredibly personal song, it pulls double duty by having one of their strongest, catchiest choruses in years, closing it out with a gnarly breakdown that even features a classic deep growl from Landon (Never thought I’d hear that again!).
Paradigm, their third single released most recently, is one of my favorite tracks on the record with a chorus that keeps me bumping all the way through, with yet another crazy breakdown that incorporates synthesizers and sampled vocals with funky riffs laced throughout. A strong single to leave off on, showcasing their progression as a metalcore band and proving that they’re more than what they were on their first few records.
While Dispose left us with the iconic track Disposable Fix, I was anxious to experience what they chose to close their fifth effort with, and I was not disappointed. Freed is just as personal, emotional, and experimental as Disposable Fix, with a gentle drip-dropping piano melody and Landon’s hoarse screaming overtop, we follow along as he belts out the line, “My mother’s prayed for my peace but it’s been years and she waits for me to break”, before dropping us into a heavy bass mix that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Christopher Nolan movie.
Swan Song proves that The Plot In You can do nothing but better themselves with every release, stretching their musical muscles to their breaking points and coming back stronger than ever. An album full of personal relations, complete, raw honesty about a life falling apart. A balancing act that expertly tip-toes between heavy, emotional, and poppy catchiness, fans of both Happiness In Self Destruction and Dispose will not be disappointed. My personal favorite tracks are Letters to a Dead Friend, Fall Again, and Freed.
The Plot In You – Swan Song – 9/17/2021
Via Fearless Records
Letters to a Dead Friend
Too Far Gone
Both to Blame
Whole Without Me