Kicking off the album with a signature Billy Talent style riff, you think you know what you are getting yourself into; an album ripe with energy, passion, anger and sadness and a collection of great songs from start to finish. Sadly, Billy Talent III lacks a certain hook and essence that the previous two efforts have injected us with.
Upon first listening to the album, it is hard not to hold it under the light of Billy Talent I and II. While the sound that brought Billy Talent to notoriety remains, the album doesn’t show any growth of development in their music or as a band but more 11 songs that fall just short of what these young Canadians are capable of.
Finding it hard to accept that after two years of work this is all they have to offer, I go back to give it another chance. And in doing so, I say fuck first impressions. It may not have tracks like Try Honesty or Falling Leaves that immediately jump out at you but Billy Talent III offers something familiar, holding fans in with Ben Kowalewicz’ distinct crying out over Ian D’Sa’s rhythmically thrashy yet clean guitar.
Tracks like The Dead Can’t Testify and Turn Your Back unleash a raw energy, a rage that demonstrates Billy Talent are not another lost cause to the evil of commercial radio rock but Pocketful of Dreams is all too reminiscent of Billy Talent II, leaving us in a limbo between repetition and development. While it is clear that album number three could have used a bit more work in order to reach their full potential, there is no denying that Billy Talent are a great band with some quality songs under their belt and even their weakest effort is still worth listening.