Known as the front man of alternative metal/metalcore group The Plot in You, Landon Tewers is often associated with the heavier, aggressive side of music. However, with his newest EP, ‘Frontal Lobe Submission’, Tewers breaks beyond the boundaries of his primary band and solidifies his sound with a more subtle, pop-influenced style that showcases the deep, emotional performance of his solo work. Combining pop and R&B with the atmospheric tones of rock and post-hardcore-influence, Landon Tewers finds a balance of emotion between the surfacing aggression of shortcomings and the emanating depression and despair.
With the opening track of the EP, Tewers immediately establishes the balance between the pop-influence and the aggressive-tinged tone. Beginning with a chill, ambient synth providing a backbone to Tewers’ gliding vocals, “Gospel Therapy” explodes into a driving drum beat and energetic synths with shouts, creating a contrast of sound within the track. This polarity of sounds is expanded on throughout the EP as Tewers experiments with acoustics, pop synths, and atmospheric electric guitar work. The emotional aggression within shines through the dramatic ambience of “Kill Me” (accentuated by Rory Rodiguez’s impactful accompaniment) and the powerful chorus of “Gave My All” as both tracks utilize a variety of distortion, reverb, and full atmosphere that hit to the core of listeners. On the other end of the spectrum, “Just Talkin” and “When I’m Gone” strip back the aggression for a somber tone, highlighting the depressing undertones with an emphasis on acoustics, melancholy atmosphere, and emotionally raw vocals.
Throughout ‘Frontal Lobe Submission’, Tewers deals with depression head on, recognizing his failures and shortcomings and sourcing them through the emotion within the music. From the frustration of one-sided efforts in “Gave My All” to the solemn realization of distance in “F Pacing” to the reminiscing in despair of “When I’m Gone”, Tewers leaves himself vulnerable and transparent, open for all to peer in and see the hurt and agony within. Not only do the words themselves share the emotion, but Tewers’ performance exudes all of this agony, despair, and hurt with powerful shouting, faltering singing, and intense melodies. Moreover, the additional support from Rory Rodiguez of Dayseeker and Gabbie Hanna each match his emotion on their respective tracks, amplifying the intensity of the experience to another level.
In a mere six songs in under 19 minutes, Landon Tewers puts on a show of emotionally charged performances, dealing with the agonies and problems in his life through a musical form that don’t seem to change in reality. With the contrast of styles contained within ‘Frontal Lobe Submission’, he creates a polarizing presentation of frustration with despair and hurt, highlighting the power contained within this EP. Sure, it may not have the heavier aggression of The Plot in You, but this is just as powerful and impactful as anything Tewers has put his efforts toward.