Review Summary: Hey look My Chemical Romance.
Honestly, I can listen to a few new Chiodos songs. They have something good going on now, if Craig Owens could ever learn how to actually sing. However, years and years ago when they were still known as “The Chiodos Bros”, there was none of that. Instead, Chiodos were a really bad version of Early/Mid My Chemical Romance with some silly electronics thrown in occasionally for fun. Craig sounded like a lame version of Gerard Way (while showing an occasional bit of what he would later sound like), and the band was so generic I wonder how they ever kept their fans. Their third EP and first on an actual label was The Heartless Control Everything
Sure, they occasionally have a weird HORSE the band-esque breakdown that is sort of cool (like near the end of “Ravishing Matt Ruth”), but for the most part the music is relegated to bad pop punk with some metal and -core flourishes. The production is fairly solid for being so cheaply made, and helps the guitarists tone come through clear. Its too bad they play the same boring riffs and breakdowns over and over to ruin what could have been a solid thing.
Then again, the guitarists could have been shredding as hard as Thomas Erak here and it wouldn’t have mattered, as we have an early career Craig Owens here. It’s some of the most nasally 13-year-old singing you’ll ever hear, and when Craig uses horrible layering effects on “Vacation to Hell” (the inspiring
song titles were around this early, yes) its cringe worthy. While it actually might be slightly more tolerable to some then his later antics are (he goes for a lot less, and thus doesn’t have as much range of being terrible yet), it’s still a giant turnoff for anyone who isn’t a 16 year old scene girl.
The album tries to stay interesting by throwing on a keyboard here, a synth there, and gang vocals here, but its ultimate downfall is the fact that past intros and endings, the songs all sound the same. There is the same boring riff combination, the same drum fills, the same distorted layering of Craig’s singing, and the same stupid production tricks. Its something to look out for if you are a fan of Chiodos, but if you aren’t and are thinking maybe (in the vein of the Used) they used to have something really nice going on, just listen to Thirty Years War or something.