When talking about the future of Fort Wayne music, the conversation has to begin with Taylor Fredricks. Not only has the band been performing in the scene for a few years already, becoming grizzled veterans in the process, but they are still young enough to continue to grow and develop their own sound, expanding the boundaries of what Fort Wayne music is “supposed to sound like” in the process.The Structure of a Mechanical Heart is the second EP from the band, a concept album of sorts, continuing the storyline the band began with the last album, 2011’s …And the Hearts Suffered EP, now repairing the heart they tore apart just two years ago. What immediately hits the listener is the progression of the Taylor Fredricks sound in comparison to their work of two years ago. The gears have clearly shifted as this album features more breadth and texture, brought on mostly by the addition of keyboardist Travis Kreager. The addition of a few more deathcore moments to the band’s otherwise straightforward rock approach is a welcome surprise as well. The new formula leads to some great moments. Rockers “Forget the Helping Hand When It’s Quicker to Drop Dead,” “When Dreams Are Left Behind” and “At This Rate the Only Option Is Moving Forward” are not only songs with lengthy titles, but downright great tunes as well. The final two songs, “Enough Wit To Last a Lifetime” and “Fragile (Handle With Care)” are more subdued and a major change of pace for the band, but they still manage to grab the listener’s attention with catchy hooks and strong lyrics.
Fredricks’ passionate singing style and penchant for writing meaningful lyrics and catchy hooks, while not compromising the songs, is the key to this band’s success. With The Structure of a Mechanical Heart, it’s obvious Taylor Fredricks are a band moving forward, testing new waters and paving new paths. All in all, this album is solid front to back without a clunker in the mix. This is definitely one of the early contenders for local album of the year and should get some national attention as well.