Picture Me Broken just released its second EP (extended play), “Mannequins,” and if you haven’t heard it, you’re missing out. The four-track EP is fierce, deep and lovely at the same time.
Though the band was formed when Layla was 12 under the name Lane Four with a completely different line-up, this band still sounds as if they’ve been jamming together for years. The band currently consists of lead vocalist Layla Brooklyn Allman, guitarists Dante Phoenix and Jimmy Strimpel, and drummer Shaun Foist.
PMB is one of the few bands in the hardcore genre with a female vocalist. This isn’t one of those “female-fronted” bands, though. It deals with that stereotype quite well: by throwing it out the window. This band doesn’t lose any of its edge due to Layla. If anything, she brings the most to the table.
The band makes the hardcore genre its own by blending its fierce sound with soft piano ballads, which lead vocalist Brooklyn Allman says are one of her favorite kinds of songs. The diverse instrumentation contributes to its more emotional tracks “Nothing Farther From the Truth” and “Beautiful Disguise.”
The other two tracks on the EP, “Mannequins” and “Torture,” showcase the band’s ability to make songs that are truly hardcore while maintaining the emotion and complexity that characterizes the band. These songs are aggressive and poetic at the same time, bringing lyrical originality to the hardcore genre.
The only issue the band has is that, despite their originality lyrically, they tend to resemble influences too closely musically. The band does a great job breaking out of the “female front-woman” stereotype, but it falls right into the broader “hardcore rock band” stereotype. Nonetheless, the band is still able to keep listeners entertained for the length of this EP.
Picture Me broken is on tour with Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper, and opens for them at the Fillmore in Miami Beach on July 21.
For those who want more, Picture Me Broken is releasing its second full-length album, “Corrupt Me,” later this year.