Underøath’s They’re Only Chasing Safety was released ten years ago last week, and PropertyOfZack is launching our next Decade feature in honor of the album today. We have commentary on the album from POZ team members Caitlin DeWeese, Connor Sheehan, Zack Zarrillo, Zac Lomas and Jason Stives, so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on They’re Only Chasing Safety ten years later!
How the album holds up in 2014
In order to properly write about how They’re Only Chasing Safety holds up in 2014, I had to dig it up from the pits of my Recently Played list on iTunes. I don’t know the last time I listened to the album from beginning to end. Released on June 15th, 2004 on Solid State Records, They’re Only Chasing Safety ended up going gold in 2011, and while that was only three years ago, it feels like an eternity has passed since I was screeching “I’M DROWNING IN MY SLEEP” in a mosh pit of sweaty, skinny, long-haired teenagers. But from the first note of “Young and Aspiring” to the last wail of “Some Will Seek Forgiveness,” I felt fifteen again. Feeling fifteen again is kind of a recurring thing in my life, but with this album it’s even more so. The Christian lyrics are the biggest throwback, as that ruled my life at one point.
I had never listened to “screamo” until Underøath. I had a few CDs in my collection with some solid screams here and there: The Used, Finch, etc. Underøath was totally new, and god damn, was it rebellious blowing out of my bedroom. Once my mom found out they were just screaming about Jesus, things were okay. Spencer Chamberlain’s hair became an icon within my circle of friends; you’d never seen so many fashion mullets in your life.
Alas, here we are in 2014. I’ve graduated from high school, had my heart broken, given up on a god, graduated from college, and just finished my 3rd year of teaching whiny children. The meaning of these songs and phrases had such an impact on my fifteen year-old psyche, and now…we’ve all moved on. The album holds up to nostalgic expectations, but never could I listen to They’re Only Chasing Safety in a non-ironic way. I almost felt depressed revisiting the album; too many old feelings, flashbacks, and people related to the impassioned tracks. - Caitlin DeWeese
Most important song on the album
Remember the heady days of 2005-2010 where Christian metalcore was all the rage? You can blame Underøath for that. “A Boy Brushed Red… Living in Black and White” is what solidified the formula of alternating poppily-sung choruses and heavy-screamed verses that was then emulated by Attack Attack!, blessthefall, and just about every band that won a Battle of the Bands spot on Warped Tour. Now, by no means am I saying “A Boy Brushed Red…” is a bad song - in fact, it’s arguably my favorite song by Underøath, but there’s no doubt in my mind that this song is what influenced the neoncore pseudo-Christian trends of the late 2000’s, and that’s what makes it important.
Think of “A Boy Brushed Red…” and They’re Only Chasing Safety as a homemade cookie, and everything that came after is a Chips Ahoy (Chewy of course, I don’t mess with that original nonsense). They taste sort of similar, and the ingredients and steps to make them are pretty much the same, but one of them was made with heart, while the other was written and judged by a committee, based on what would sell.