Review Summary: Though Aiden has faced a great deal of criticism for their latest release, they've managed to make a generally solid album...Just Kidding!
As one young reviewer was perusing the vast pages of Sputnik, he came across a suitably elegant description of the musical group BrokeNcyde. A very aware Sputnik user described the group’s abhorrent sound as “AIDS for the soul”. Ladies and gentleman of Sputnik, if BrokeNcyde’s sound is AIDS, then Aiden can only be described as spiritual Ebola, as it will deliver a swift and brutal musical death. On their 2009 release, titled Knives, Aiden shows new levels of emotional and musical immaturity, spewing forth 3rd Grade quality horror punk with little or no intelligent thought put into it. Pathetic musicianship is paired with cringe-worthy lyrical delivery to birth what may be the worst album ever constructed.
The first problem to be addressed is not the music itself, nor any one aspect of it, but the general attitude given off by lead singer/religious philosopher Will Francis. His ridiculous impersonations of punk vocalists the world over are laughable, as he cannot seem to find himself as not only a songwriter (more on that later), but as a singer as well. Making his best attempts at being Ronnie Radke (Killing Machine), or failing to sound like a poor man’s Billie Joe Armstrong (Killing Machine also). Francis attempts to deliver frustrated, angst ridden vocals only to come across as an immature fool, his sad delivery sounding nothing short of preposterous to anyone with a functioning brain.
The other problem with Francis is his lyrics. Before I attack the songwriting itself, allow me to warn you that Knives features a massive amount of unnecessary swearing. It seems that every other line is stricken with an unwarranted four letter profanity. Language aside however, Francis’s songwriting is absolutely atrocious. He squeals on and on and gives us gem lines like:
Hang the beast.
Show no mercy in the God-damn killing.
I'm in love with feeling nothing for life.”
Enter the violent role playing:
oh, it's up to me
to make you F***ing bleed.
We are the scavengers,
scavengers of the damned.
-Scavengers of the Damned
And while we’re at it let’s just go after the big guy too:
For fear!, panic!, glory!
F*** your God.
F*** your faith in the end,
There's no religion.
The above lines are simply a small taste of pitiful lyrical content you will find by listening to any thirty second segment of the album, as Francis made sure he was the focal point of all musical composition on the record. Aside from cursing God and just about every person he comes in contact with, Francis goes on to allude to partaking in such “gothic” activites such as cutting his wrists by candle light and eating rats. Essentially, Will Francis destroyed this album right from the start with his vocals and lyrics. He attacks institutions of organized religion on “Crusifiction”, sings for the “lonely nights” on “Black Market Hell”, and condemns “you and all your friends” on “The Asylum”.
If one is able to restrain their utter disgust with Francis’s performance, they might be able to tolerate the acceptable instrumentation that carries on almost silently behind him. While their Frontman was out pretending to be Gerard Way, the rest of Aiden was putting together solid punk rhythms. Some sections of the album almost sound like decent skate punk (Killing Machine, King On Holliday), while others are actually quite bad. “Scavengers of the Damned may be the first and (without a doubt the worst) rip off of My Chemical Romance’s “House of Wolves” to date. However, the guitar, bass and drums are for the most part sound, but totally helpless in the face of their singer’s self destructive ego-trip.
As the reviewer sits at his laptop, home from a relatively early night out with midnight approaching, the wonderful tones of Muse flow out of his headphones. He smiles to himself and thinks of how great it is that all music does not sound like Aiden. He decides to check back one last time with the album to make sure his assessment of it was correct. As the hilarious faux-anger of “The Asylum” makes it’s unwanted entry into his ears, and Will bellows his uproarious “f*** you and all your friends”, the young reviewer quietly closes his computer and says to himself “No Will, f*** you.”
(Because Francis is unheard)