Stitched Up Heart having been a band for the past 6 years and counting, has had its faults here and there, as well as releases, including their "Self-Titled" EP (2010) and follow-up EP "Skeleton Key" (2014). These being released independently, but after the "Skeleton Key" EP saw the light of day, the band decided to change things up, with its line-up and even receiving some label recognition, getting on with Another Century Records.
During this time changing period, the band went into the studio where they would take the time to write and record for what would be their debut full-length album, and more changes to come. This album releasing several singles as it were, "Finally Free", "Monster", and "Event Horizon", can all be found upon this album of course, each one sounding just like the other pretty much. Like there's no difference between them really. When you really listen in, Stitched Up Heart has become another cliché act to the likes of In This Moment, and Halestorm. We have heard this style before and it's a copycat dilemma.
The debut album being titled "Never Alone", consisting of 11-tracks each one, simply not cutting it. It's solid craftsmanship, lyrical context, instrumental and vocal work, but it isn't the style that can be found before, back on the first releases. Those releases are like dead to the band pretty much. Having gotten into this band seeing them open up for rock act Nylon Pink, Stitched Up Heart back then, was what the band WAS all about. What they have come right here, and right now, is not. "Is This the Way You Get to Hell?", was one of the songs and videos, yes there was a video made as well, that had the flare, momentum, energy and just packed that punch, that this band was putting out. Following that said song and video, was of course their "Skeleton Key" EP with "Grave", and "Frankenstein" both made into videos as well, hearing these tracks together, it is how the band should have kept their sound and style.
Dropping the look, feel, and style was a big mistake and not the game changer, the band needed to do. Again their previous releases were top notch, sounding material. It had that gloomy, doomy, vibe, that made the music stand out, much heavier, building that attitude, aggression, and flare, as said above that the band was all about. "Never Alone" is a debut album that has its material, but it isn't like how it was before. Its bland and bear at times, never coming close to the earlier works.
Their earlier works, were heavier as previously said, the instruments were more rounded, had edge, louder, more vocal chords that embraced you with its powerful screams and lyrics. Screams are noted on "Never Alone" but they are highly minor, on the previous works, they were more "there" were you could tell and hear them, as they were instantly in your face with that pride and overwhelming feeling. Aside from the three singles released from this album, other notable tracks if mentioning any, at this point, would probably have to be "Turn You On", and "I Can't Breathe", otherwise most of the material on here, is just the same, getting old very quick, to say the least.
The only good thing about Stitched Up Heart is that they kept use of their logo, sticking to the same formula since the start, which is a good representation of the past, but in regards to this debut efforts that is "Never Alone". It would have been left alone, never to be dealt with, because the material just isn't what it could have been. It could have been so much better if they had stuck by their roots of the past, not the present.