Album review: The Home Team – The Crucible Of Life

It’s been a hot minute since The Home Team last delivered an album, but they’re still match-fit on this glorious return…

Album review: The Home Team – The Crucible Of Life
Rachel Roberts

The Home Team are flirting with us. Despite its dark cover art and metal-sounding title, The Crucible Of Life is actually alive with lustful and romantic pop-rock.

It’s rather symbolic that the band continue to present their records in such a way. No matter how they continue to develop their own brand of genre-melding music, they keep in touch with their heavy roots. On this third album, the Seattle-based quartet continue to hone their trademark heavy pop sound, which feels like a step up from 2021’s Slow Boom.

There’s vibrancy and life at every corner, with colourful horn sections, hip-snaking slap bass, and seductive R&B whispers, all decorated with distorted, crunchy guitar. Love & Co. packages all these best bits in one, and recruits a massive guitar solo from Intervals, who notably smashed it on tour with Mammoth WVH this year, bringing notes licked with reverb and shrill wah.

They're happy to sprinkle some sourness in there, too. Somebody Else’s Face explores a more spiteful lyricism, seemingly baring bitterness to an unloyal partner. Hell goes on to experiment with exciting bass runs and high-pitched choir-like calls delivered in a Brendon Urie-esque vocal styling by frontman Brian Butcher. Throughout, the record feels playful and doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it is consistently flirtatious, brought to a crescendo with closer Loud.

The Crucible Of Life brings the risqué lyricism of Deftones into the world of springy pop-rock. It’s just as empowering as it is swaggering with attitude, and offers a sizzling distraction from the negativity of the outside world for great summer listening.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Don Broco, The Maine, Panic! At The Disco

The Crucible Of Life is released on July 12 via Thriller

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