Review Summary: A band that really needs to back down...and if not that, by god at least stay close to home and don't contaminate speakers anywhere near me.
I'm sure almost anybody can look back at themselves in high school and find a thing or two to feel a bit remorseful about. Although certainly not the first thing on my list, in retrospect, I generally don't approve of the people I hung around and identified with around freshman/sophomore year. For whatever reason, I decided that my "scene" consisted of the general misfits who went to shows on weekends instead of, oh...I don't know, getting drunk and laid, or at least trying to do so. No, instead I spent my money on overpriced tickets to sleazy venues to see bands that, if nothing else, taught me the meaning of bad music. Rather than hanging out with cute girls, I opted to spend these evenings with fellow sixteen year old dudes, who might as well have been girls with their perfectly straightened and swooped jet-black locks, listening to such catchy hooks as "in the VIP, see you staring right at me/ Then I ask you what you need, and you say BREE! BREE!
" Yeah, I would like to say that I've at least managed to avoid such bands since then rather successfully. A few nights ago, however, this elusiveness was compromised at the request of an old buddy of mine. He claimed to have a "friend of a cousin's friend who's in this totally awesome band that's definitely gonna be huge someday" and assured me that I absolutely must check them out. Thus, I promised my friend that I'd add the band to my download queue and give them a listen when I got a chance. Well, I recently got that chance, and I can assure any soul on the earth who is reading these words that this band, Close To Home
, is without question a group worth avoiding.
This Ohio-based group fits somewhere in the amalgamation of the pop-punk / hardcore genres, although I think the word "fit" can be used loosely at best. If the lyricist of Brokencyde
ganged up with Attack Attack
's screamer and tried to sing their songs over half-assed covers/rip-offs of A Day To Remember
tracks, voila, you would have Close To Home
. If there's one positive thing to be said about any of these songs, it's that the band members are at least actually playing instruments rather than plugging in their iPod and dancing around with a microphone. Like I said, it's the ONE and ONLY ONE positive thing to be said for Never Back Down
, the band's 2011 full length debut.
From the intro's mundane and repetitive piano opening, including the standard "woah-aye-oh's", all the way to the closing track's over-produced and endlessly shallow song-writing, Never Back Down
features nothing even remotely impressionable. "Days of Our Lives" comes equipped with the most gratingly boring, generic "hardcore" break downs and some very un-extraordinary lyrics, which various members of the band seem to want to inculcate into our skulls by simultaneously shouting them back after they've been sung. Not until the record's third track is the screamer's true lack of talent showcased, which granulates eardrums in the worst possible of ways. The following nine tracks are equally flimsy and coarse, with no real substance to bring any sort of joy to the listener's ears. "You will respect me, if it's the last thing I do/ You will respect me, I am above all of you.
" Such lyrics fail to garner this band any respect, in any way.
Never Back Down
is truly a bad piece of music. Tracks one through twelve bleed right into each other via trifling songwriting and unpalatable screams that don't do anything to make up for the bands monotonous and regurgitated instrumentation. Not to wish personal harm on any of the band members, but I wouldn't be bummed out in the least to hear that their van crashed and all their equipment was destroyed, rendering them unable to pollute speaker systems with their noise any longer. That being said, Never Back Down
is the album of the year to avoid. Perhaps it is an earnest and honest attempt to create enjoyable music, but it is by no means an album worth checking out.