Review Summary: Let Your Body Take Over is possibly the most generic album in existence, on top of sounding like a remix of Underoath's breakout record, They're Only Chasing Safety. Apparently, Safety resides in the hearts of overweight scene girls.
Imitations are sort of a grand thing. The imitation soda always makes me laugh, particularly the uber inventive names they come up with for Dr. Pepper knockoffs. I’ve seen plenty of laughable pseudonyms for the bargain version of it, including Dr. Thunder, Shock MD, Senor Lightning etc. I’ve seen them all, and some of them are not pretty at all. What is really the worst part about knock-off soda is when it just tastes like whale semen that wants to be soda really badly. This is the feeling I can’t help but be overcome with when listening to Four Letter Lie, sans the salty aftertaste. Their debut Let Your Body Take Over is an exercise in tedious and repetitive musicianship, clichéd lyrics (and well just about everything else too), and shameless ripping off of popcore sensation Underoath.
The most prominent feature of the album is without a doubt the deplorable vocal performance. Like most other bands of the genre, FLL makes use of both a screaming vocalist and a traditional singer. Unfortunately, like many other bands, neither vocalist in FLL have any semblance of talent. The clean vocalist (I refuse to use their names as basic rights don’t apply to them; they don’t even have their own Wikipedia article) is about as cliché as they come, sounding just like Underoath drummer/vocalist Aaron Gillespie, but much worse. He sounds particularly whiney and generic on just about every track on the album, but “Feel Like Fame” and “Full Tilt Boogie” are both exceptionally bad performances, where he sounds almost like a nasally version of Jordan Pundik (of New Found Glory fame).
The screaming vocalist, quite frankly, is a living testament to why euthanasia should be legal. His resemblance to Spencer Chamberlain, Underoath’s lead vocalist, is uncanny. Line for line, it sounds like the vocal demos for They’re Only Chasing Safety were interjected constantly over the instrumental track for the newest Hawthorne Heights single. What is probably the worst part about his screaming is the fact that he has absolutely no range. Where Spencer occasionally attempted to sing cleanly (and failed miserably), this vocalist just constantly screams at the same volume, with the same pitch, for all 40 minutes of the record. To top it all off, the production on his vocals sounds like it was recorded on a keychain memo recorder, which makes an already bad singer sound even more abhorrent than he previously did.
Aside from the terrible vocal performance from both vocalists, Four Letter Lie also suffers from having painfully bland and cliché musicianship. For one, the guitarists (yes there are two) are woefully bad, and on the rare occasion they showcase a bit of talent, its just generic arpeggios that bands like Thrice and Hopesfall have worked into their sound so much more successfully. As far as the rest of the band is concerned, the bassist is nonexistent, and the drummer could be easily replaced by a metronome. Four Letter Lie’s sound falls just about perfectly in between the poppy pseudo aggression of Hawthorne Heights and the more potent edge of Underoath for the majority of the album. However, there are exceptions; “Feel Like Fame” comes off like a bad collaboration between a drunk Spencer Chamberlain and Fall Out Boy. “Firecracker (Four Letter Lie)” is the token ballad on the album, and rocks like Nickleback after a few hits of morphine and pseudo-heartache. “Cowboys & Indians” rocks like Maroon 5 with some of the worst screaming on the entire album. Aside from these few exceptions, the entire album is bogged down in formulaic and repetitive musicianship which shamelessly rips off whatever band happens to have been the flavor of the week when this album was being written.
By far the worst part about Let Your Body Take Over, is the lyrics. Painfully cliché as well as horribly written, these are by far some of the worst lyrics since James Blunt has decided to make a record. “Firecracker” is a standout pile of shi
t, with such amazing two liners such as “And I'm thinking of her, she's not thinking of me.
And now all that she wants is the touch of a warm body” and “Because I meant it when I said ‘I will never love again’ but you'll never understand“ all crooned by this limp-dick
Patrick Stump impersonator. And from there, the lyrics all fall under varying degrees of suck, from merely bad, to cringe-worthy, all while being extraordinarily cliché.
Four Letter Lie has produced what I find to be the worst album I’ve ever listened to. They fall into all of the typical pitfalls of a modern popcore band, and even then come off much worse than anything I’ve heard. FLL very easily puts bands like Aiden, Chiodos, and others to shame in terms of both cliché-ness, and lack of musical talent. The only recommendation I can make for this band is to stay far, far, away from anything that they produce. There is not a single redeeming quality to this album, and it sounds so uninspired, it gives off the impression that if hair metal was the genre that got all of the teen girls crazy, you’d see this band in spandex and white leather.