Anthems A Plenty
The fact that 30 Seconds To Mars is the brainchild of Hollywood actor Jared Leto is for some people an immediate black mark against the band, a justified reason to target the group as at best merely an actor's little side project, or at worst a means to stroke his ego. But pack away any such preconceptions now, 30 Seconds To Mars fit neither category, instead offering an album bursting with alt-rock anthems that are infused in brutal honesty and harsh rawness that infectiously get under your skin before breaking out in a hail of anguished wails. Sure, it may have been written by an actor but 'A Beautiful Lie' is anything but a side project and 30 Seconds To Mars is more than just a wannabe rock band.
Recent single release 'Attack' gets things nicely underway as 30 Seconds To Mars release a onslaught of brutally raw lyrics screamed desperately by Leto, piling on the melodrama and spooning massively atmospheric electronics into the mix before exploding into the type of chorus from which anthems are born. Raw, energetic and with a sinister edge, 'Attack' is the type of song that gently saunters in before whacking you over the head and quickly exiting, setting the tone for much of 30 Seconds To Mars' work. Firm believers in transforming every track into an anthem contender rammed with huge choruses, frantic guitars and enough drama to fully insure they pull you in, 30 Seconds To Mars have delivered an album in 'A Beautiful Lie' in which virtually every track is vying for the 'hit' category.
Next single release, 'The Kill' again initially promises to be a sedate number before transforming into a full blown bombardment of in your face emotion led by Leto's vocals that effortlessly flit from tender gentility before exploding in a blaze of wailing desperation and screaming pleas accompanied by bristling guitars and rampaging drums that could literally pin you to the wall. From this we are treated to 'The Fantasy', an invigorating blend that invokes comparisons to early U2, in particular 'New Year's Day' whilst 'From Yesterday' tingles with fragile verses that bleed into colossal choruses masked by ballad-esque guitars and heart led lyrics. Indeed 'A Beautiful Lie' is an album brimming with tracks that lyrically drive straight to the core, unmasking a directness and anguish that is both captivating and yet slightly unnerving whilst unleashing abrasively frantic guitars and infectious beats that unapologetically bulldoze their way out of the speakers, leaving the only real drawback, if indeed it is one, being the sense of over polished neatness that surrounds the album, detracting slightly from the coarsely raw edge 30 Seconds To Mars craft to perfection.
Everything 30 Seconds To Mars does seems to boast a grandeur and dose of drama that meld together almost flawlessly with the emotionally clad lyrics, add to this Leto's ability to naturally deliver the tenderly emotive alongside the howls of misery and despair and its is clear that 30 Seconds are more than a mere side project for an actor. This is a band with rock stardom oozing from every pore, with a tonne of rock grandeur firmly slapped upon every chord they play that is simply waiting to erupt in an anthemic frenzy, enjoy the ride.