With “Hearts Burst Into Fire”, the second single from their latest album Scream Aim Fire, Bullet For My Valentine are set to secure their status as the ultimate radio-friendly blend of old-school thrash instrumentation and emo songwriting.
If anyone ever makes an audio dictionary, the definition of “anthemic” will simply have “Hearts Burst Into Fire” playing on a loop. Say what you like about Bullet For My Valentine, they know how to push the right switches with melodies and hooks that stick straight into your brain whether you want them to or not.
The problem is that there are plenty of people who would gladly live without Bullet For My Valentine providing earworms of this calibre, and I include myself among them. “Hearts Burst Into Fire” is a distillation of everything current in rock music rightfuckinnow, from its emotional overstatement and cloying sentiment to its shameless appropriation of the Bay Area thrash sound filtered through the day-glo colours and animated gifs of MySpace. It does nothing for me at an emotional level.
“Hearts Burst Into Fire” isn’t bad. Far from it – it’s great as what it is. But it’s a pop record, pure and simple; no amount of mosh-pit trappings can alter that fact.
That said, I’d rather have pop like Bullet For My Valentine on the radio than most of the other crap that’s out there right now. And we can be certain of one thing – the inclusion of the acoustic version as the B-side pretty much guarantees that awkward teenagers with aspirations of rockstardom will be putting badly-recorded versions of “Hearts Burst Into Fire” on their MySpace pages next time they want to express themselves to the young lady in their life.
And as short-term immortality goes, I don’t think Bullet For My Valentine could ask for much more than that.
I’m still curious about these multiple hearts, though.