I See Stars
3D


3.0
good

Review

by Ryan Lizotte USER (24 Reviews)
April 11th, 2010 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I See Stars provides a little bit of breathing room for the Post-Hardcore community, and drops the bombshell with this tight debut album.

I See Stars is:
Devin Oliver - Clean Vocals
Chris Moore - Synth/Screams
Jeff Valentine - Bass
Jimmy Gregerson - Rhythm Guitar
Brent Allen - Lead Guitar
Andrew Oliver - Drums

When I first heard I See Stars, it was on a Rise Records sampler CD, where I never planned on finding any bands that would be interested in, at all. But, lately, the music industry as a whole has started signing bands that are making a name for themselves in some way. I subconciously placed I See Stars right next to Broadway, Of Mice & Men, Attack Attack!, Asking Alexandria, etc. as the rising stars of Hardcore. And rightfully so, because these guys delivered a memorable, fairly solid albums, with a few holes here and there, but as a whole, "3D" demonstrates plenty of strong points, but some definite room for improvement.

I See Stars' sound involves dual guitars working together to create typical post-hardcore harmonies, in Drop D, while the bass groove follows the outline of the guitar parts. Moore's synth is programmed with tons of techno-influenced beats and harmonies, and is extremely evident in parts of nearly every song. This is all capped off nicely with Andrew Oliver's steady beats and his brother Devin's high clean vocals leading the assault. I See Stars has a noticeably steady song structure to all of their songs, most noticeable by the title track "3D". The songs usually start with a very catchy intro, followed by a verse, chorus, second verse, second chorus, and then a breakdown where the synth usually stops and Chris Moore jumps out from behind the synth and belts out some exceptional high screams. One of the key things to I See Stars' sound, is that they aren't heavy all the time. They balance it well with catchy guitar hooks, and clean vocal lines by Devin, something that post-hardcore bands just don't seem to do anymore.

The lead single off the album "What This Means to Me" starts with a catchy synth line and works it's way into a memorable verse by Devin Oliver and a chorus that you are yet to hum to yourself minutes after listening to it. Moore's screams take this song by storm near the end, as it calmly soothes and rolls down to a nice calm techno-reminiscent ending.

I See Stars of course has the potential to go heavy, citing "The Big, Bad Wolf" and "Project Wakeup" as main examples. Moore's vocals rule both of these songs, and the breakdowns are not generic, but abnormally catchy, featuring great synth-work. But, as I mentioned before, I See Stars counter-balances the heavier with the softer. "Sing This!" and "I Am Jack's Smirking Revenge" offer more poppy elements and more electronics than the other songs (and more Autotune, might I add). The absolute standout track on this album is "The Common Hours", which will hold you with it's catchiness, and hard-hitting breakdown for days to come.

I See Stars is a solid band, and a good refresher for the post-hardcore community. Nothing amazing, or completely standout-ish. Let's be honest, we've heard electrocore before. We've been there, and we've done that. I See Stars just does it very well. And their debut effort earns a solid 3/5 in my book. Look out for these guys.



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user ratings (446)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
DropdeadWHA (3)
I See Stars deliver a good debut effort while sticking to the usual formula....

xTevinx (4)
A Skylit Drive have some younger rivals....

Chris Higgins (3.5)
I See Stars makes an attempt to bring back fun and catchy post hrdcore/techno, and they really did a...

Bitstream (3.5)
Straying from gimmicky (but plunging into generic), I See Stars delivers the fun in a rather short b...


Comments:Add a Comment 
shortone323
April 11th 2010


883 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pretty good review. However, I would argue that Attack Attack and Asking Alexandria aren't rising stars. Well, they are, but they suck so the only reason there rising is because stupid scene kids like them. That's also the case with this band, although they are better than the other two. This band is pretty good on this record, but when I saw them live they were pretty terrible.

And there are much better bands out there this that do a similar style. Sienna Skies and I Explode Like do this much better.

Waior
April 11th 2010


11455 Comments


I'll have to check out Sienna Skies and I Explode Like then because I've been still searching for a band that pulls this sound off well... I was tempted to check this out earlier today but if shortone thinks that this is a 3.5, it's probably a 2.5 for me.

bloc
April 11th 2010


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

ALBUM ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLZ

sspedding
April 11th 2010


4773 Comments


not bad at all this review though you don't really talk about many criticisms of this album although it is only rated as a 3.

Think the band is shite.

shortone323
April 11th 2010


883 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha Waior should I be offended that statement. Seems pretty condescending to me haha. But yeah I should change it it's more like a 2.5 - 3 but I'll give the it the benefit of the doubt and go 3.

Waior
April 11th 2010


11455 Comments


Haha, not at all, it's just a pattern I've noticed over time - we're into different types of music and I think it's a great illustration of subjectivity.

bloc
April 11th 2010


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I think the fact that I gave this a 4.5 seals the deal about what Caleb's rating will be haha.

shortone323
April 11th 2010


883 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That's true. It's kinda nice to be able to figure out that difference haha. Don't have to waste your time with the absolute shit. But yeah, this is pretty generic. Not like autotuned up the ass generic but slightly autotuned so as to seem like they can't actually play this. This is just another band that's capitalzing on this trend, you can tell once you see the band's myspace that they're pretty much just an image and their sound is a collection of generic musical aspects. They do that very well, but it leaves you wanting a more real experience.

Sienna Skies and I Explode Like, to a lesser extent, seem like bands that are actually about the music, and they have a much nicer sound then I See Stars does. Really good integration of the synths with everything else and the production isn't overbearing.

And after that I feel like I should just write reviews haha. Also I like the return to Pam but it reminds me that the Office isn't having new episodes for a little while or whatever they're doing with that.



Satellite
April 12th 2010


20826 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

One of my friend's cousin is in this band. I couldn't get into any of their demos, but I might check this out.

krisq14
April 12th 2010


6 Comments


Only stand out band in this genre imo, along with A Skylit Drive

Sick album, sweet review, nice one good sir

Douglas
April 12th 2010


9118 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The break at the end of Project Break Up is fucking awesome

TheSpirit
April 12th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

3D is the only truly good song on this.

shortone323
April 12th 2010


883 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

krisq - If you actually think that's the case you need to listen to more bands in this genre haha.

asaf
April 12th 2010


888 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the end of the common hours isn't too bad, and indeed 3D is a delicious tune. the rest of the cd doesn't really make an impact or leave a substantial impression.

i do have to say this though, i saw them with emarosa, and EVERYONE 11+ was into this, which is weird since im 24 and out of place without neon at these shows regardless of my skinny jeans.

sspedding
April 13th 2010


4773 Comments


delicious



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