Gag reflexes 

Metalcore act pulls the trigger on its latest release

click to enlarge A Life Once Lost has a couple of things itd like to say to - you in this shady, dark alley. If youre up for it.
  • A Life Once Lost has a couple of things itd like to say to you in this shady, dark alley. If youre up for it.

A Life Once Lost frontman Bob Meadows sounds pretty satisfied with his band's latest album. Mostly because the punk/metalcore frontman finally got to bitch and passively confront the people he's always wanted to.

"Lyrically, I think I said a lot more stuff on the record that I had never really got around to saying on the other records," Meadows says of his band's Iron Gag, which was released Sept. 18. "Sometimes you have to watch your mouth and kind of deal with the situation because you don't want to burn your bridges. And you have to stick your foot in your mouth.

"But this is what we were going for with Iron Gag. It's about letting it go, [the] iron gag, not holding anything back. And the outcome, I feel, is just amazing."

Formed in 1999, Philadelphia-based A Life Once Lost rose with East Coast acts like Converge, God Forbid and Killswitch Engage, among others, to help form metal music with a punk/groove aspect.

ALOL's third album, 2003's EP The Fourth Plague: Flies, helped the band which, in addition to Meadows, features guitarists Robert Carpenter and Douglas Sabolick, bassist Nick Frasca and drummer Justin Graves land a gig touring with Throwdown, Breather Resist and Dead to Fall. That tour led to a deal with Ferret Records, which released the band's Hunter in 2005.

Iron Gag, the follow-up to Hunter, delivers more of the relentless anger and musical brutality that ALOL has displayed before. But the band decided to produce this album itself after working with producer Rob Caggiano on Hunter. And what's added is an even more vicious Meadows on mic.

"Iron Gag is my relationships with other things, not just family and girlfriends," Meadows says. "I just don't care any more. I had nothing to hold back, nothing to hide. This is all me out there. It represents us perfectly. And it's an amazing feeling to be a part of this experience."

Meadows opens the record talking about wanting to die over a failed relationship, then screams on the song "Ill Will" about how he feels about another person in his life: "You are worthless and especially ignorant to human life / Words, gestures / Everything I feel towards your existence / Coexists with the hatred I have for mankind."

Not much to misinterpret there.

"These are the things I've wanted to say to people," Meadows says. "If they're not getting it, it's kinda right there. There's a lot of sour tastes in it, and you can see it slowly evolving into a complete mess.

"It's just, wow."

Though only two months into the record, Meadows admits that he's already started thinking about the band's next release even if it might not be right around the corner.

"First," he says, "we have to focus on touring and conquering the rest of the world."


A Life Once Lost with Nights Like These, The Murder Formula and By the Throat
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Sunday, Nov. 25, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 day-of-show, all ages;
visit ticketweb.com or call 866/468-7621.


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