Review Summary: neeeeeext.
Befuzzled but not surprised that Blacklisted’s No One Deserves To Be Here More Than Me
hasn’t been reviewed yet. To put it short the bands fourth LP is uninspiring, and hardly worth the relation it has to the fantastic Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God
. Essentially take all of the mundane moments of the latter and apply them to the former and you’ve got this cd. By modern hardcore standards the band has released above-average music, but it’s so disappointing to understand this may be the direction they intend to head toward.
What’s most immediately recognizable (aside from the humdrum album artwork) is the toning down of lead vocalist George Hirsh, stripping away his saturated harsh vocals to a clean Keith Buckley rip-off. This is accompanied by dousing the flame of swagger the band bolstered to proudly on their previous outing, and we’re left with a group of guys in desperate need of getting their mojo back.
For instance what the hell is the title tracks’ purpose? Aside from its dwindling distortion the song commutes from point A to point B whilst doing anything worthwhile. The conviction that carried Hirsch so far has all but evaporated; I was left thirsting for the moments when he’d sprawl through tracks vigilantly screaming “I feel hopeless when I just wish I could feel a little less”; instead we get clever-less, and for the most part quiet lines, like “No one will ever come for me … Please tell me that nothing’s wrong”. Insistent to beat these thoughtless phrases into our heads they’re repeated over and over and over again, so instead of being filled with the various emotions Hirsch was able to exude we’re simply annoyed. The, “Pity me, my life is so terrible and I’m the only one in the world who feels this way” shtick that he throws down wears incredibly thin, and its more depressing to hear the creative juices raped from the band than them transporting you to their isolated world they used to live in.
Essentially this album feels like hardcore dumbed down, every song is brimming with a clever rhythm section, but any hope is quickly flushed out by the terrible decision to slow everything
down. Take Skeletons
which could have been the standout track, and then the twenty second mark hits and you’re left with the same chord progression and lyrics that we were given with the previous twenty minutes. Gem stones are few and far between, I Am Extraordinary
hints back to their early days with Hirsch doing his “I know I can’t sing but watch how my bands atmosphere makes up for it”, and there’s even a lovely duet spliced in the middle adding a new layer to the cd’s shallow depth. Album opener Our Apartment Is Always Empty
does a great job lying making us think the band were back with vivacious riffs and a solemn harmony section filled with “La-da-da-da-da / de-de-de-de-de’s”.
What we’re left with is a band that played it wayyy to safe, and tried experimenting the wrong way in hardcore – going soft. Gone are the ravaging moments of Circuit Breaker
and I Am Weighing Me Down
. Flushed out are the clever and unique lyrics, Blacklisted have taken a huge unfortunate step backward. Still, even with all the uninspired music on this album one knows that the band are capable of more and their future is still as bright as it was two years ago.