Forever the Sickest Kids
Underdog Alma Mater


3.5
great

Review

by TheHammerVsTheNail USER (4 Reviews)
July 6th, 2008 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you want lyrics that change your state of mind, or musician ship that will leave you gasping...stay away. But give this a try if you enjoy sing-along songs, catchy melodies, or just something good to listen to,

Forever the Sickest Kids is another of the several electronic laden bands from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and fortunately for them, one of the better ones. Formerly known as The Flipside, FTSK underwent a name change, and some what of a style change before releasing their debut full-length under the Universal Records umbrella.
FTSK exhibit the typical pop-punk allure, flaunting catchy melodies accompanied by simple (not a bad thing) instrumentation and sing-along choruses. Fortunately, the electronica isn’t over served, but more of a garnish to add some spice to a band that will surely be heaped into an over saturated MTV friendly genre.

“Woah Oh (Me vs. Everyone)”, the album’s first single, gets the disc going by showing off the 3 different vocalist’s ability to contribute some infectious melodies. Though this song doesn’t show off much of their synth-ful side, its quickly understood why Universal Records quickly jumped on the young band’s wagon. Definitely a pop-punk anthem and a highlight of the album, “Woah Oh…” is a no brainer for the album’s opener.

“Hey Brittany” the band’s first ever song, (the original version can be found in a few places) displays more of the bands catchy singing and introduces the electronic drumming and synths that are sprinkled through out the album. This was the song that got the labels calling, and I guess I can see why.
The third track “My Worst Nightmare,” starts with a keyboard played intro that almost made me skip to the next track until the music and vocals come in. This one turns out to be a personal favorite of mine, and the brief trance homage to those early-2000 songs that littered the radio in the latter years of my high school career doesn’t hurt.

“Believe Me I’m Lying” is in my opinion the catchiest song written by the band, though I prefer the EP version waaaayyy over the Album version. The lyrics could rival those of Fall Out Boy’s first album, Take This To Your Grave, with its cheeseball/anti-girl sentiment, but its fun and gets you singing along before you’ve even given it a first listen. Another highlight off Underdog Alma-mater, though I recommend getting the EP version.

“The Way She Moves,” is just another one of those catchy songs delivered, almost effortlessly, by this 6-piece band. It keeps you listening, and right before it feels like its about to drag on, it comes to a close. Fortunately, one of the things the band kept away from was beating a song, or hook, to death. All the songs have had catchy lyrics and vocals to this point, and is basically what the band centers in on through out the rest of the album.
“She’s a Lady” is another track that could be found on the band’s EP, pretty catchy and no wonder why every female I know, with a knack for pop-punk bands, had this on their Myspace page at some point.

“Uh Huh” not a bad song, but maybe one of the ones I’d skip over if I were under some time constraint. Features another cool electronic part (but if you’re looking for more electronic, check out Playradioplay!)
“Phone Call” yet another catchy, up beat song. If you like what you’ve heard, then this is worth a listen, offers one of the better hooks on the album.
“Breakdown” another re-recorded song from the bands previous EP is one of the slower songs heard on the album.
“That For Me” never really does it for me. Not that it lacks or is poorly written, but after a bombardment of catchy powerpop tracks, you could find a better listen amongst the previous tracks.

The only acoustic song found on the album, “Coffee Break” isn’t anything really special. Not that I dislike slow tempos or acoustic music, I’ll probably teach myself the guitar parts at some point. If you are typically drawn to slower music than this would actually be a great listen. Though it is a slightly different genre, the song reminds me of a slightly weaker “On My Own” by The Used.
The album closes with “Catastrophe,” maybe my favorite of the non-re-recorded songs. More of the same catchy singing, but it just happens to work a little better than some of the others.

This album definitely will not appeal to anyone searching for life altering lyrics, or classic musician ship, but if you’re just looking for something fun to listen to and something to get you singing along (maybe for a road trip) than this is definitely a good pick up. If you’re like some of the people I know and just refuse to listen to albums in full (or in order) tracks 1, 4, 8, and 12 would be the songs to sample. Sneak “My Worst Nightmare” in if you can, if nothing more than for the short nostalgic trance insert.


user ratings (190)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
JohnCCalhoun (3.5)
Although they pretty much wrote the soundtrack for a 13 year old girl's birthday party, they do it s...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ilikemusicthatsucks
July 6th 2008


1063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I remember when I had a review of this and it was better than this one. Damn database crash.

TheHammerVsTheNail
July 6th 2008


11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ouch.
I'm still not sure what makes what a good review around here.
So I'm trying to get my feet wet until an album worth reviewing comes out. I still feel mine are a bit too lengthy, and I know the song-by-song style may be a bit of a turn off. But other than a concept album, or an album with themes that carry across multiple tracks, I feel that individual song captions would be the best way to go, seeing as it is just a collection of songs.

SpinLightTwo
July 6th 2008


1043 Comments


If you want to look at some real good reviews read some staff reviews or some of Med's reviews - most every radiohead album besides In Rainbows/ Med does track-by-tracks so you could pick some stuff up off him as well.

Intransit
July 6th 2008


2797 Comments


Here's the thing:

You describe what goes on in every track, but you don't really describe how it sounds, if that makes any sense. Not for nothing, but albums are assembled in the order they are for a reason. It's not just magically drawn out of a hat. Flow is extremely important to an album's playability.

“Breakdown” another re-recorded song from the bands previous EP is one of the slower songs heard on the album.

This gives me no information about the song. Except that it's "slower". Slower compared to what? Are we talking like Millencolin slow where it's still pretty peppy, or are we talking like acoustic ballad? This is important stuff.

“Uh Huh” not a bad song, but maybe one of the ones I’d skip over if I were under some time constraint. Features another cool electronic part (but if you’re looking for more electronic, check out Playradioplay!)
“Phone Call” yet another catchy, up beat song. If you like what you’ve heard, then this is worth a listen, offers one of the better hooks on the album.

So "Uh Huh" has an electronic part. Phone Call is catchy and upbeat. There are millions of ways a song could be catchy and upbeat. There are millions of songs that have electronic parts. Describe what it sounds like, not whats going on.

That should get you started, but honestly, my biggest piece of advice is to just avoid track by tracks all together. You always end up repeating things (especially on an album like this when everything is very stylistically similar) or lacking details for songs. It's best to give a general description of the sound, followed by a few examples of each, then narrow it down and describes what sets certain songs apart.

On that note, this album is pretty hilariously terrible.

TheHammerVsTheNail
July 6th 2008


11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, that actually makes a lot of sense.
I'd like to get more descriptive, but I shy away from it because I see a lot of comments of people bashing reviews based on length. I guess I was just trying to give a really quick synopsis for what to expect with each song, rather than to go into detail about every aspect of the song, which is what I'd actually like to do.
And about the song placement, trust me, I know how important that is, I guess I'll reference that from now on.

Also, some people try to add narratives or stories, not sure if its better to just straight up review the music or to include that to.This Message Edited On 07.06.08

ilikemusicthatsucks
July 6th 2008


1063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah basically what they said. And also as was mentioned, you just can't stress how good of an idea reading staff reviews is. That's the "style" so's to speak of Sputnik, much the same way Rolling Stone or Pitchfork all have a sort of "style" that, while it shifts from writer to writer, it is still identifiably "that" publication.

Also, some people try to add narratives or stories, not sure if its better to just straight up review the music or to include that to.


Avoid it. Sometimes an occasional first-person detour is okay if for a bit of humor but usually it should be avoided in critical writing.This Message Edited On 07.06.08

TheHammerVsTheNail
July 6th 2008


11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Definitely appreciating the constructive criticism. But for now, I'll pop in another cd that I could maybe articulate better on my way to get some Sushi.

O.J. Simpson
July 6th 2008


408 Comments


I remember when I had a review of this and it was better than this one.


Fuck off. This is an alright review.

Intransit
July 6th 2008


2797 Comments


Just remember, don't do a play by play. Mention specific things, but overall, you should be most worried about the overall thing.

jpattison
August 15th 2008


125 Comments


This was horrid, and i only heard the single, but come on its called "Woah oh"
and in one part he says "meet me in woah oh"
and they sound like theyre trying to rip off Panic At The Disco, and Fall Out Boy
very un original

CoryKickkk
October 15th 2008


28 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

this album is such crap.
even live you know they take no pride in the musical aspect of anything.
it's all popularity.
it maybe good to little scene girls and such but as for music this album does nothing but make me sick

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2009


24098 Comments


I don't know the music but, possibly the worst band name ever? I think so. Close, at least.

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

bloc
January 22nd 2010


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

absolutely love My Worst Nightmare followed by Hey Brittany

Phantom
January 22nd 2010


8930 Comments


cock bloc go and read my latest review and says its good and pos it
























please

mcg182
August 13th 2010


144 Comments


Some good catchy songs on the album though. Nothing too special, but I'm pretty much a sucker for anything with a good melody.

mechatanner
September 10th 2010


269 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gotta agree with the review when it says the EP version of Believe Me I'm Lying is better, and YES my worst nightmare starts off pretty suckish, but it is probably my favorite on the album.

bloc
September 10th 2010


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

2 songs on this are absolutely brilliant

Nikkolae
September 10th 2010


4870 Comments


WOAHH WOAH WOOOOAHHH! (8)

Digging: Modern Witch - Unknown Domain

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2011


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Forever The Sickest Kids make it really easy to hate them. It’s all there; hair product, goofy looks, bad fashion, derivative music & cringe-worthy lyrics aimed at teenagers. Why did the Dallas pop-punk sextet have to fill their debut LP ‘Underdog Alma Mater’ with more sugary hooks than a candy store? It’s fun, catchy, bright & bouncy. Damn them! The 40 minute album is consistent (especially it’s front half) and their subtle use of keys/synths & multiple vocalists is surprisingly controlled & value-adding. This isn’t a guilty pleasure, it’s a shameful one. Recommended Tracks: Whoa Oh! (Me vs. Everyone), Breakdown, Catastrophe & Believe Me I’m Lying.

Firecracker
July 5th 2011


106 Comments


"My Worst Nightmare" always makes me feel better no matter how shoddy I feel and no matter how cheesy and ridiculous it is, I absolutely LOVE it.



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