Miss May I
Apologies Are for the Weak


2.5
average

Review

by Steven Spedding USER (17 Reviews)
June 21st, 2009 | 173 replies | 31,039 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bland, formulaic metalcore with short-lived highlights.

9 of 10 thought this review was well written

Rise Records has gotten itself a reputation of signing “by the numbers” metalcore and post hardcore acts in the past. However a resurgance seemed to be on the cards following successful and arguably well received recent releases from Of Machines, In Fear and Faith and Oceana. Newest recruits Miss May I recently recorded the painfully titled “Apologies Are For The Weak”.

There is a common prejudice held by listeners when it comes to metalcore. An acceptable attitude when one remembers some of the Rise Records’ releases of the past (Drop Dead, Gorgeous - In Vogue) being an obvious choice. Gross over-saturation of the genre with bands mindlessly regurgitating At The Gates Gothenburg style riffing and bland open string breakdowns. One could be forgiven for making a judgement of this record prior to even listening to the first track.

The record opens strongly with “Not Our Tomorrow” and “A Dance With Aera Cura” playing enjoyable melodic leads over the slightely predictable downtuned chugging. A notable example in “A Dance With Aera Cura” following the second chorus, a lead reminiscent of Darkest Hour in Undoing Ruin.

"Architect" provides the record's strongest song as the introduction kicks off at break neck speed, it is on this particular song that all positive elements of this record come together perfectly. None of the elements come across as being contrived any way which following this track is altogether obvious.

A strength demonstrated throughout the album is the talent of the lead vocalist who has a remarkable range from raspy shrieks to powerful guttural lows which are interchanged rapidly during the course of the album. He also uses a medium range hardcore style shout in between showing strong vocal variation which plays an integral role in keeping the listener interested. If the generic instrumentation is held aside the drummer shows great use of the double bass pedals and fills nicely between different parts of many of the songs.

However the thrills are shortlived as the band fails to produce anything memorable following the tracks mentioned. A formulaic song structure is followed throughout and a disgusting overuse of breakdowns is prevalent. The very one paced, bland open string breakdowns mentioned surface all too often and highlight the band’s weakness in songwriting. Generic autotuned clean vocals are appropriately placed in the majority of songs as the band rips off the commonly used style of songwriting used in metalcore. They really fail to add any variation to the vocals nor do they add any worthwhile vocal melodies.

There are brief moments of enjoyment such as in “Harlot’s Breath” where the listener is greeted by a bit of reprieve from the constant barrage of downtuned garbage. This comes in the form of a not so intricate solo but a pleasantly melodic one. This however is ruined by a sudden slow down in tempo and then another poorly placed breakdown.

In conclusion, it is clear the band has potential to maybe create a credible piece of material and with their extraordinarily young age (no members over the age of 19) there is room for improvement. A very promising beginning to the album is marred by an all too generic style of songwriting and instrumentation.

Being a fan of the metalcore genre I can forsee many lower ratings given by the rest of the the not so forgiving anti-metalcore listeners. For fans of the genre there is fun to be had listening to the first half of this record, for those not so fanatical I would advise to avoid.

Recommended songs:
A Dance With Aera Cura
Not Our Tomorrow
Architect



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user ratings (535)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Nick Habisch (3)
Metalcore is still...well...average...


Comments:Add a Comment 
sspedding
June 20th 2009



4752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First review a bit of constructive criticism would be great.

IndieOut
June 21st 2009



498 Comments


Is it really that bad?

catsinflats
June 21st 2009



129 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

its not THAT bad, just really average

Avirov
June 21st 2009



1206 Comments


I really like this review. You talk casually and smoothly but address plenty of points, and the overall tone is one of cautious criticism. Intro is cool, very informational. +Pos

sspedding
June 21st 2009



4752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks mate, yeah it is not terrible by any means. The first two songs are actually really good infact but its almost a bit of a downward spiral following Architect. I was really excited about this album following them putting the songs on myspace but was very disappointed once I got my ears on it.

blahblah94
June 21st 2009



7 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review, read very smoothly. You're 100% right about the Harlots Breath breakdown, pretty much ruined that solo. I'll give this a 3 though comparing it to The Devil Wears Prada(Average), and this is so much better then TDWP.

sspedding
June 22nd 2009



4752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers again, yeah i dont really agree but fair enough. They show glimpses of something really awesome but tend to ruin all them moments playing shitty breakdowns.

BrutalMassacre
June 23rd 2009



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dude, fuck whoever did this review. This is straight bullshit. The album is not that fucking bad. I've heard worse. And you failed to point out that it was their first CD. Plus, like you said they are young. Give them props for their first fucking CD dude.

Douglas
June 23rd 2009



9093 Comments


But its an ugh cd! Review is great. It's not about 'Do you agree with the writers opinion' It's if it's well written, and as you say give them some credit if it's there first... well this is sspedding's first review so cut him some slack!

Digging: James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical

BrutalMassacre
June 23rd 2009



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh yeah, I forgot to point out that it was a well written review, because it is. Being that it's your first, it's very well. But I don't agree with it on any level.
And just to point out. Some of the guitar riffs are almost impossible dude. Considering how young they are and this being their first CD, I give them a 4.5.

sspedding
June 23rd 2009



4752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

not being funny pal but just because its their first CD doesn't mean it should go from a 3 to a 4.5. Some of this is good and it is highlighted in the review, the first two songs are awesome, Architect is pretty good as well but then the rest of the album melts into one long track of very generic instrumentation. It is far from perfect and I also do highlight their talent in the review.

A final note, most of the breakdowns on this suck. The reviewer is fucked.

sspedding
June 23rd 2009



4752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

and also this is my first review. So calm.

loveandthebullet
June 23rd 2009



11 Comments


A well written review. I disagree, however. I think " Apologies Are For The Weak " is one of the highlights of this year. I'm confused. Is the person who wrote this impartial to " breakdowns " ? It certainly seems as such. He mistakes " breakdowns " as poor musicianship. It seems to me that this reviewer only likes music that is over the top in complexity and doesn't know how to enjoy simpler music. Sad really...

RoseFuneralIsGay
June 24th 2009



1 Comments


I don't think the reviewer is impartial. The breakdowns on this album seem like they were created on a whim as filler material, rather than taking time to be inventive. Great 1st review by the way

sspedding
June 24th 2009



4752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah RoseFuneralIsGay is 100% correct, I love breakdowns as much as the other guy but they are used as filler when the band runs out of ideas during a song, they seem randomly placed and at key points of the song when something else should be happening. There is rarely any build up to the breakdowns and on the rare occasion they do place them in appropriate positions in the song they sound awesome. The bottom line is that I counted something like 28 breakdowns in a 30-35 minute record equalling nearly one a minute. It just seems pretty lazy and as if they are being used as a crutch for the band.


IndieOut
June 25th 2009



498 Comments


I agree with the breakdown comment. The vocalist is so good though, the intro tracks just make me want to love this album but i get bored right after architect. This band will be good in a few years, they are so young still.

IndieOut
June 25th 2009



498 Comments


also the basist for miss may i left the band to go to rose funeral lol

FamilyFaith
June 25th 2009



10 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, a lot of valid points here. Great job!

bloc
June 25th 2009



34740 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

every song literally sounds the same on this album

Digging: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

sspedding
June 25th 2009



4752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lool at the bassist, the vocalist is brilliant i agree.

As I say in the review, the album is ultimately so boring after architect.



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