Review Summary: Sturgiscore
Often in the music business, it is not uncommon for bands of a certain genre to flock to a sole producer, relying heavily on that one persons input to unlock what hidden potential the band may have. In the latter part of the 80’s and early 90’s, that person was Bob Rock; his work with bands such as Motley Crue and Metallica wielded majorly successful results, bringing the bands to unprecedented new heights in popularity. In the 90’s, Ross Robinson was the go to guy, producing a large amount of popular nu metal albums from the likes of Californian based Korn and the Iowan metal masters Slipknot. More recently Killswitch Engage guitarist, Adam Dutkiewicz has become the savior of modern metalcore, producing highly regarded albums like All That Remains’ The Fall of Ideals
and Underoath’s Define The Great Line
amongst many others. This brings us to producer Joey Sturgis, who seems to be the flavor of the day within the post-hardcore genre. The man has done some good work; Burden of Day’s most recent OneOneThousand
is a definite testament to this. However despite his triumphs, he also seems to have a growing list of failures, which most recently has come to include the Los Angeles based band Confide, whose latest album Recover
discards any hint of personality the band once had, opting to become just another breakdown centric metalcore group.
Although the drop in quality seen on Recovery
cannot entirely be blamed Sturgis, sonic idiosyncrasies consistent with the producers previous work, such as with bands We Came As Romans or Asking Alexandria. With no notable variety to speak of, each song features what has made most post-hardcore a deplorable genre as of late; a gross overuse of breakdowns paired with choruses that are literally undecipherable from the work of every other band in the genre. In theory, the use of a breakdown is great: a short, heavy interlude where the band performs a simple, yet catchy single note pattern while the vocalist usually delivers a repeated verse. However, when bands such as Confide (and a vast majority of their contemporaries) use this technique so carelessly, its effectiveness is squandered and every song ends up sounding almost identical.
On their previous record Shout The Truth
lead vocalist Ross Michael Kenyon proved himself to be a member of great worth; his performance was not only technically pleasing, but he managed to maintain an identity that was specific to only himself. While some songs such as “People Are Crazy” hint to this prior level of ability, the majority of Recovery
, sees this approach forsaken, as Kenyon chooses a mechanical, processed delivery, one that is truly inseparable from his peers. Same could be said for clean vocalist/drummer Joel Piper, who is also robbed of his character for the usual pop-rock vocals most other bands contain. This is a fact that could describe every aspect of the album, which overall comes off as calculated, routine and spiritless. While innovation and originality definitely does not make a record a success, Recovery
is just too derivative to earn any positive marks.
If you are a fan of bands such as We Came As Romans or Asking Alexandria, then this record will undoubtedly become one of your years favorite records; it has everything you look for in great music. However, if the aforementioned do little to tickle your fancy, it would be your best bet to steer clear of Confide’s Recovery
, just another product of a band ruined by Joey Sturgis.