So for a while now, I've been getting like a ton of ads for random bands I've never heard of everytime I checked instagram stories, so eventually I got curious, am I missing anything by ignoring all of these bands? Well to find out, I've selected a bunch of bands I've gotten ads for and now I'll review the latest album from around 10-20 of those bands to see if there's anything to these bands or if I'm really just not missing much by ignoring them.
First band I've chosen is called The Edge of Reason, they describe their sound as "post-hardcore + alternative rock and synth elements with a fresh unique approach" so you know we're in for something alright.
Which is extremely overproduced and overcompressed metalcore songs with pop elements and a bunch of out of place edm synth elements, a bit of autotune, also there's rapping on the last song, + some trap snares here and there on some of the ballads... it's a mess to say the least. Also how the fuck is this post hardcore? I'm no elitist nor expert in genres, but like...what? Where's anything resembling post harcore on any level... sound, lyrics, attitude, production style, anything? Well, it's nowhere I guess?
Anyways another thing I don't get is what makes this a "fresh unique approach"?, it feels like what panic was doing on fever back in 2005 (more specifically the first few songs on that album) but instead of techno its a bit more edm and instead of pop punk its pop-rock and metalcore, like that's not exactly unique, they just applied what panic! did to a different genre (with much, much, MUCH lesser results), and if you thought those electronic elements from fever (a 2005 album) were outdated now, just wait until you hear these electronic elements from 2019 that sound like they are decades old in comparison. And that's not even the biggest issue, the biggest issue with this is that I can picture the songs working better without those synths, it's almost never something integral to the songs, most of the time it's not exactly synth rock, its rock with synths over it if that makes sense. For example did the song Bunny Plek need those trap snares and synths to make it a more impactful ballad? Not really, but they're there and it feels like a gimmick and not in a good way, it doesn't make them stand out but rather blend in which is the complete opposite result of what you'd want a gimmick to do.
The songwriting on this album is lacking in a few aspects, in a nutshell it feels bland and whiney without any memorable lines or anything. I can see a very tiny bit of vessel era twenty one pilots in the lyrics, but in the worst way possible as instead of coming off as meaningful to a certain degree and very personal, it comes off as trying to be meaningful, like good job for trying but I can't quite say you succeeded, like you did end your album on "you need to wake up" which is the ultimate sign that you are doing something wrong with the lyrics.
It's clear these guys were inspired by bands like my chemical romance, bring me the horizon, falling in reverse and early panic! at the disco but they don't have the energy and interesting concepts of an mcr album, the drive to experiment with weird ideas that makes bring me the horizon great, the ambition of early panic! at the disco but what it does have is falling in reverse's biggest issue from around 2015, it's trying to be so many things it ends up being nothing, worse than anything it feels like they try to blend these bands into the most ordinary and outdated metalcore sound possible by 2019 standards. It's a sound that isn't as unique as they want it to be, the simple song structures don't have anything going for them to keep them unpredictable or interesting, well safe for one part in the song Sorry in which it turns into a ukulele lead track for a bit for no reason which works against it, it feels disjointed from the rest of the song and doesn't make it feel dynamic sadly, it's not like you can still hear the ukulele after that part, it's in there for 10 seconds and then out, the equivalent of playing a piano right at the end of a song to say its an emotional ballad.
The guitars sound as overly digital as you can expect but idk if them sounding more raw would have worked either giving that they just sound very generic and boring. The growling vocals are about as annoying as you would expect but I am willing to excuse those as just "not for me", what can I say I've never liked early Bring Me The Horizon or Avenged Sevenfold.
Now are there any positives to this album? Well it's not exactly offensively bad, low bar huh.
First 2 songs are generic metalcore tracks that you've already heard if you've checked out any metalcore bands from the last...say 5 years, nothing new but they aren't awful...Then we get Paradox, a slower pop song with some cheap and outdated sounding synths and glitch elements that amount to them repeating a certain phrase and stutter a bit, the turn into metalcore on the chorus should in theory be the part where the song kicks into overdrive and it picks up a lot of energy, should catch you off guard right? Well it's executed in such an awful way that you might not even notice it because the guitars lack any punch and it sounds like, well picture yourself the most ordinary sounding metalcore riff, now you got the chorus to this, put in some background growls that don't add much nor stand out much but are there for some reason and you got yourself a recipe for a really really bland chorus. Look I'll give the song this at least the metalcore elements continue onto the 2nd verse so it feels like the song is advancing in a way, now granted it doesn't really mean much you just get a drum beat and that same generic riff but played more sparingly if that's the correct term.
Through My Eyes is the type of melodic metalcore that will make you eye roll and prb fall asleep, the autotune'd vocals that appear in the background are too faded to really do much and it honestly just sounds like an F tier Goodbye To Gravity rip off but with a somewhat whiney vocalist. Better Days has some really bad falsetto vocals and a weak chorus but I will give it this, the synths here are executed better than on most of the songs and even tho it still sounds way too ordinary and generic to really be worth hearing it's an improvement. River starts with this really generic vocal filter that I never understood the appeal of, like yeah the vocals sound distant and full of reverb...so? What's the effect? Like I don't really feel anything when I hear that stuff, do you? Anyways, the rest of the song is basically the same weak sounding pop metalcore, idk the drumming on this song isn't half bad, it's actually quite good even if the rest of the song is anything but.
Insomnia is one of the more electronic focused songs and it suffers from the same issue as the last one but here they execute the chorus slightly better as I noticed the guitars, the lyrics come off as trying way too hard to be deep however, it's about him having insomnia and not being able to get rid off it which shouldn't be too hard to make at least a bit compelling but it's too vague to really be that.
Squeezed Lemon, Bread And Water and Crystal Ball are basically filler, cliche lyrics, boring structure, forgettable...everything. They're there just there to make the album longer imo.
The closer, Despair, at first it comes off as identical to the song Bunny Plek then he starts kinda rapping for a bit and look I'm not gonna act like the dude's rapping was the worst I've ever heard because it listenable, it didn't make me cringe, although the lyrics didn't help. Now the beat is anything but that, god does it sound awful, it's so 2008 it hurts.
Look this band is clearly trying to be a jack of all trades type band but they sure are a master of none, I've always been one to be happy when bands and artists want to experiment and try more styles and sounds on their albums regardless of the result but man with this album I think they need to just stick to one genre and try to perfect set formula rather than...whatever this is.
Yeah no this album's pretty awful, idk what the fuck I expected when I read in their bio the words "fresh unique approach" but this ain't it, it's not even close.