Review Summary: Catchy Pop Punk ruined by pointless breakdowns...Or is it vice versa?
If you've heard his acoustic project, NeverShoutNever, you probably know that EMWIH! frontman Christopher Ingle has a knack for writing hooks. The scene-sation has inspired more fantasies of twelve year old girls decked out in neon than I can dare to imagine, and this band is most likely for the same purpose, except this time, Ingle sets out to give all those bros sporting A Day To Remember shirts a reason to "start the pit".
While listening to "All My Friends", I can honestly say I think I found his inspiration. It sounds rather like Ingle took ADTR's breakout sophmore record "For Those Who Have Heart", took what made it so popular amongst scenesters, and then tried (and failed) to intensify it by pushing the heavy side and the poppy side to its limits. You have everything in the typical pop core formula: downtuned guitars chugging away, key board effects, plentiful double bass kicks, clean choruses, screamed verses, and breakdowns, breakdowns, breakdowns.
The sad thing is though, Ingle does have the ability to write good songs, as previously stated. The pop side of this album is pretty good, even if it's been done before. "Screw The Standard" is a terrific example of how to write a catchy chorus. Ironically, the hardcore side of the band, while generic, is also not terrible. The crunchy southern rock riff and the breakdown in aforementioned song are actually alright. The breakdown is suprisingly heavy, coming from a whole bunch of pop kids, and the two step keyboard part in album opener "The Two-Armed Man" was honestly interesting. The problem, however, is combining the two. All of these things together, while good on paper, is random and slightly jolting. The breakdowns come out of nowhere and are completely unnecessary, and reverting back to catchy choruses after each one isn't enough to save the album.
In the end, it seems like Christopher Ingle put this together as a marketing technique to get more scene girls singing along. Take a listen for yourself, and hear the upbeat sing-along choruses, and wince as a pointless chug-a-lug breakdown follows. Then laugh at just how cliche the whole thing has become.