Review Summary: The lyrics tend to be repetitive, the vocals get boring at some spots, and the bass is rarely heard through most of the album.
The members of Akissforjersey are not your typical Christians, they all have long hair, rock out, and be a band like Akissforjersey. Yet, they still have faith and a positive message. Hailing from Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, Akissforjersey was joining a thriving yet overpopulated hardcore scene. There were the heavyweights of Between the Buried and Me and Hopesfall while the rest was left trying to make a name for themselves. Building a strong local buzz helped Akissforjersey to be signed to Tragic Hero Records (Alesana, A Skylit Drive, The Morning Of). The band then released their debut album, Keep Your Head Above The Water
, in 2006. The band has since gone on to complete several national tours. Akissforjersey is back with their heavily anticipated sophomore album Victims
, produced by Andreas Magnusson (Scarlet, Oh Sleeper). Will it satisfy their fans? Was the hype real or just hype? Does this band have what it takes to make it big? Let’s follow the trail of victims to see.
Zach Dawson is the vocalist; Cory Wood and Tyler Lucas are the backing vocalists. Zach starts the album off by singing during the intro of “Devices
”. You can instantly tell that the vocals are far better and more mature then on the debut album. You also can tell that Akissforjersey likes having catchy choruses. Zach has a few vocal styles he can choose from including a whisper-esqe style found on “Devices”. The non-whiny screams are really good while the whiny screams are decent at best. Zach has revealed that The Book of Revelations inspires most of the lyrics on this album.
A good part I always enjoy in this genre of music is the use of duel vocals. Akissforjersey does this a few times and pull them off well, but the band should think about harmonizing sometimes to help during some vocal parts. Most of the time, the vocals are best when it is pure scream/growl or just singing. The production team only decided to layer the vocals only once, during “The Fire
”, but he benefits and helps the song by having it slightly different then all of the other songs. Most of the time, you can hear the passion and emotions flowing from the vocals. This leads us to the best vocal performance, near the three-minute mark to the end of “Believe
”. The amazing vocals on "Salus Saus Extanderealas Concedit
" are a close second.
Cory Wood and Matt Bean are the guitarists of the band. The guitar riffs are nothing special on most of this record. There are some exceptions though, like the pretty good riff in the middle of “Devices
”. On “Salus Saus Extanderealas Concedit
” you find a great distorted, slow guitar riff on a very guitar driven song. The second guitar is used a lot by itself in the song “Believe
”. “A Tree And It's Fruit
” is a guitar centered instrumental with a preacher or someone reciting Matthew 7:14 - 7:27. Akissforjersey even has some breakdowns on this album. There is a good one at the end of “Oh, Infamous City
” and a great breakdown to finish off the album. Tyler Lucas’s bass can only be heard on "The Evidence
Joey Allen is the simple yet efficient drummer for Akissforjersey. First off, the production team decided to put the drums high in the mix so they can be heard at all times. While Joey prefers his snare drum and cymbals, he does use his double bass at times. You can hear Joey’s cymbals the most on “Believe
”. The drums are the main fixture on “The Fire
” and instrumental breaks in songs. Joey shines on "Salus Saus Extanderealas Concedit
" by being himself which leads to the drums being simple but simply amazing.
Akissforjersey’s hype was mostly true, but the hype was not completely filled. The lyrics tend to be repetitive, the vocals get boring at some spots, and the bass is rarely heard through most of the album. The guitars fit well into every song, the guitarists know how to play melodic guitar when they need to, and the vocalist really likes to drag some of his notes out with great success. A great bright spot for Akissforjersey is that every slower song they have done has been great. They should try doing a few more slower songs along with the harder songs that they’re known for. This album should satisfy fans while also showing the potential for this band to make it big.