It would be easy to define the relentless aggression of Killing the Dream as one of anger upon first listen -- especially as frontman Eli Horner bursts onto the opening track 'Blame the Architects,' declaring "we're here to destroy." But there's more to the California act than just anger.

"I think that 'reactionary' is such a great way to phrase the sort of prevailing attitude that a lot of kids feel in hardcore -- I don't know if that's a good or bad thing necessarily." Horner told Noisecreep. "I know for myself, I've always tried to be a little more introspective and look at where I messed up, or things that I could have done better rather than just blame everyone around me. But I think that the beauty of hardcore music is in its honesty, and if that's how someone feels, then by all means, they should sing about it."

On the band's previous effort, 2008's 'Fractures' -- which many consider to be a pinnacle of passion-driven hardcore -- Horner focused his voice and words around the difficulty of moving on. A topic very ingrained on the album as the band suffered loss of members and a long time strain on Horner's vocal chords caused the album to be delayed. The band's newest, 'Lucky Me.' came with a lot more ease and a more uplifting attitude.

"'Lucky Me' is more a product of me having time to sit back and reflect about my life, but also to look around at some of the things going on around me. The title 'Lucky Me' is sarcastic in a sense, but is really genuine in another. I have been so lucky in my life, and we have been so lucky as a band ... and as we're getting older, I felt like it was a great title to sort of bring all those feelings together. They're pretty much the same as they've ever been, I guess."

Horner, who is a schoolteacher by day, said not much has changed with his voice in terms of screaming. "We haven't done too much touring in the last year or so, so I really don't know how my throat would respond if/when I have to push it again. I guess I get some pretty good practice yelling at eighth graders for five days a week. But other than that, there hasn't been too much screaming in my life lately."

'Fractures' created a legacy for the band to scale on 'Lucky Me' for many, but Killing the Dream felt no pressure or a desire to fit into any kind of mold. Kil

"Honestly, we've just kind of gone with whatever sounded good. That's one of the things I think I'm most proud of with KTD -- we've really never tried to be anything we weren't. There was never a point in time where we said, 'Yo, we really need to do this more in our songs.' [Guitarist D.J. Rogers] never came into practice and said, 'I really want to write this kind of record.'

We've always just been ourselves, and I think it comes through in our music. I think 'Lucky Me' is just more of a product of that -- if possible, we're even more comfortable in our own skin, so we took some chances on doing things that we thought kids might hate because we genuinely liked them."

'Lucky Me' is out now via Deathwish.