While I thoroughly enjoyed The Letter Black’s full-length debut, Hanging On By Thread, there wasn’t much about the record that got me excited. It was a very good female fronted hard rock record. Despite my somewhat lackluster thoughts on the album and band, I was looking forward to Rebuild. The album was delayed twice and the band even went back into the studio to work on new songs to add to the record.
The wait was worth it. The Letter Black has stepped up their game. Rebuild is more of a complete package. The heavy songs are heavier and the ballads are better. Sarah Anthony’s vocals (and her screams in particular) are stronger. Even the production is tighter on Rebuild.
The highlights of Rebuild are the albums big rock anthems. Songs like Sick Charade, Up From the Ashes, Rebuild, Smothering Walls, and Devil on Your Back are all full bodied, hard hitting rock songs. They drive the record and there’s enough diversity between the tracks to keep it interesting. Pain Killer is the only “radio” friendly hard rock song. And it has a good hook. Sure, the ballads (Found, Outside Looking In, and Shattered) could all find their way on the radio and of those, Shattered is the only one that screams hit. Even among the ballads, The Letter Black does a great job keeping things fresh and diverse.
Whatever made The Letter Black pause and push back Rebuild, it was worth it. The songwriting has matured and it’s evident that the Letter Black took some chances to do things differently on Rebuild. Well done.