LoveHateHero
America Underwater


2.0
poor

Review

by Michael Roberts USER (99 Reviews)
September 22nd, 2009 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Progress just to regress.

Prior to the release of White Lies, LoveHateHero underwent a massive lineup change. With new members and the daunting task of writing a sophomore record the California post-hardcore group did the unthinkable: they found an identity; crafted a superb record; and even encountered a breakout success of sorts. After finding such triumph in a predicament like that writing a follow-up should have been a piece of cake. Instead LoveHateHero decided to abandon just about everything that once made them appealing. America Underwater finds the group attempting to smooth their edges down and craft a poppy, hook-driven record in the process. The result is both underwhelming and disappointing, as listeners are left with a half-hearted, lazy and an overall mess of a record.

The opening track, “Sinners and Saints,” immediately introduces LoveHateHero’s change of sound. Gone are the aggressive guitar riffs, the sporadic screams and the up-tempo, passionate musicianship; in their place are a collection of lifeless chord progressions, half-hearted vocals and appalling hooks. The guitar lead near the end of the song sounds terribly out of place and overall the group seems to have lost any sense of songwriting ability. Being as they practically dumped their musicianship for a chance to write more simplistic, mainstream songs this proves problematic. “America Underwater” is a horrible attempt at a hit single. The title track lacks any sort of genuine soul and its pseudo-inspiring softer section is laughably atrocious.

Aside from lackluster songwriting, the group has also lost track of their identity. During the record LoveHateHero latch onto many gimmicky aspects of the pop-punk genre. “Think Twice (Running With Scissors Part II)” takes a polar opposite direction than its counterpart from White Lies. While the initial song was an adoring cry of concern directed toward a family member on drugs, the follow up comes off as half-hearted. Its poppy nature and dreadful line “It’s as easy as one, two, three l-o-v-e/light up and forget everything,” shows the overtly juvenile tones and themes present on the record. No song reveals LoveHateHero’s new target demographic better than “Pants Off Dance Off.” Filled with sampled drums, a disgraceful attempt at a bouncy guitar groove and more atrocious lyrics, the Cali-natives seem to have their sights set on landing onto every 13-year-old’s party mix. The song is so horrendous even a guest spot from Trace Cyrus would not do the trick.

Even amidst the many faults present, LoveHateHero is still capable of creating strong tunes. On American Underwater, however, they are few and far between. One of the earlier tracks released, “Echoes,” brings a much needed dose of adrenaline to the record. Its faster tempo, strong progressions and edgier guitar tone allows its chorus to work effectively. The breakdown, however, sounds very out of place and represents a lazy alternative to creating a more intricate section that the group is capable of. Even with most of the record putting a sour taste in the mouth of listeners, “Too Little Too Late” closes things off properly. The band focuses more on crafting a good song as opposed to a good hook and things benefit tremendously. Guitar riffs flow effortlessly throughout the tune and the intense pre-chorus screaming section is a highlight of the record. In both the aforementioned songs, the group succeeds by sticking to what worked for them in the past. LoveHateHero, unfortunately, seems more focused on getting a spot on MTV2’s top 10 than writing a record up to their capabilities.

At the end of the day the pure laziness and underwhelming efforts present on America Underwater are its greatest flaws. The record, for the most part, is a collection of mediocre songs shoved together by a talented group of musicians. LoveHateHero has a great deal more talent and ability to create memorable music than what is displayed here. In hopes of writing a more accessible record the opposite has ironically happened. Their third full-length record sparingly has a memorable moment and is typically devoid of excitement. By polishing their tunes around the edges and lowering themselves down to the level of the contemporary pop-punk scene, the quartet has attempted to embrace a new style and completely flopped in the process. America Underwater makes a once confident and powerful group seem lost, confused and altogether irrelevant in their constantly shrinking genre.



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user ratings (66)
Chart.
2.2
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
ToWhatEnd
September 22nd 2009


3172 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Image art hates me today so if anyone could help me out with that it would be appreciated.

XXXpickemgenius
September 22nd 2009


139 Comments


This is terrible still.

ugh.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2009


17224 Comments


nice to see you reviewing again

shortone323
September 22nd 2009


883 Comments


Good review. This sucks, I loved White Lies. Solo in Goodbye My Love was so beast, especially because it was so unexpected. I'm guessing no solos here? I listened to 30 seconds of one song and then just shut my computer off.

ToWhatEnd
September 22nd 2009


3172 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

There's two solos on the whole record I believe. It's depressing. Thanks Adam, it's good to have the time to review again. I'm going to try to do about five a month.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 22nd 2009


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this cd makes me sad. i loved white lies. the only song i can listen to here is too little too late

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2009


20857 Comments


I can only hope for a weekly Mike Roberts review. Great stuff again here Mike. Well-balanced & tells me all I need to know… As always.

Why did I think you were a Contributing Reviewer? You should be.

I was gonna ask you what you thought of the new Billy Talent album, but then I noticed you have none of their LPs ranked. Have you heard them?

AmericnZero02
September 23rd 2009


3360 Comments


This makes me a sad panda.

KritikalMotion
September 23rd 2009


2262 Comments


expected this to be bad

stupid band, white lies was good.

DaveBum69
September 23rd 2009


699 Comments


i hope your wrong white lies was awesome, i think i heard liek the first song they released off this and i think i remember it bein bad

XXXpickemgenius
September 23rd 2009


139 Comments


It gets worse.

Then it ends quite nicely actually.


*shrug*

LisbonGirls
September 23rd 2009


832 Comments


well that sucks

ToWhatEnd
September 23rd 2009


3172 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Why did I think you were a Contributing Reviewer? You should be.
Because I was; twice. Then I get too busy with school and/or other things and don't review so they appropriately drop the title since I don't contribute. Lol. I'm going for three-time contributor status soon.

Comatorium.
September 23rd 2009


4179 Comments


So disappointing... pos'd the review.

Waior
September 23rd 2009


11461 Comments


Get that contributor back, you. Another excellent review.

Digging: Hey Rosetta! - Second Sight

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2009


20857 Comments


Hey Mike, around this time last year, I'm certain you said something like "I'm aiming for my 100th review by Christmas".

I guess you never said which Christmas! :-)

ToWhatEnd
September 23rd 2009


3172 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

LMFAO! Oh jeez...I'm a mess. At least this year I'm genuinely busier; last year I was just partying my ass off. Between taking 15 credits, working 15 hours a week and writing for an on-campus paper I've got a pretty rad schedule.

tapitforever
September 24th 2009


1243 Comments


hey this album isn't quite as bad if you rename the artist in itunes

...which doesn't say much at all

Myk
September 26th 2009


1 Comments


Check out the old guitarst from white lies new band myspace.com/2hots

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2009


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

^he sounds like a girl



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