Aiden
Disguises


2.0
poor

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
March 31st, 2011 | 95 replies | 22,743 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I’ve got a big fat fuckin’ bone to pick with Wil.

One line of thinking suggests that you have to feel just a little bit sorry for gothic punks Aiden. For a band who were so derivative in following their inspirations during their early years, the Seattle quartet really should have achieved greater success. Initially discounted as being cheap knock-offs of bands such as AFI, My Chemical Romance and The Used, Aiden were probably as surprised as anyone when all three bands surged in popularity. Hell, it wasn’t as if front-men Davey Havok, Gerard Way or Bert McCracken had clean cut images and outstanding voices. The next step was obvious… Continue to follow their lead. Unfortunately, Aiden did not have the musicianship, song-writing ambition or hooks of their influences, so third LP ‘Conviction’ commercially flopped. Following a return to their heavier roots on the horrendously tasteless ‘Knives’, the much derided make-up clad gang are back for their fifth album ‘Disguises’.

Kicking off with a minute long introductory piece titled ‘The Devil’s Eyes’, listeners will know not to expect much deviation from the band’s formula as soon as lead vocalist Wil Francis asks us to “All hail the dark one”. While not as curse-ridden, hateful, violent and anti-religious as its predecessor, ‘Disguises’ once more touches on all of these lyrical themes in disconcerting – and often laughable - fashion. Whether attempting to be poetic (“I watched as the antique sky turned black through fields of heroin”), or blunt (“Faith is a question you can choose, faith whether Christian, Muslim, Jew. Still you all distort the truth, the death of fiction will save us all”), Francis is purposefully as subtle as a sledgehammer. The end result is that even when stumbling across an interesting idea, Francis botches it by coming off as childish, attention-seeking and occasionally repulsive.

To give credit where it is due, if ‘Disguises’ was not Aiden’s fifth LP, a case could be made that it is their best album to date. In many ways, it is an uncomplicated record, a trait which assists the band in finding a sound they are comfortable in playing. The production has also finally settled on a natural mid-point between slick and gritty, allowing the solid (sometimes even hooky) guitar riffs and improving drumming to sporadically shine. All the while, those gang vocals which have previously lent a sing-along quality to their best tunes, return on more than one occasion. Lamentably, even when Aiden appear to be on their way to something approaching the peak of their career, up pops Wil to ruin it. It might be via his trashy lyrics (‘Shine’ & ‘Hysteria’), or lousy vocals (‘Horror Queen’, ’ReEvolver’… Pretty much all of them actually), but one has to seriously wonder if Aiden would be better off with just the backing vocalists singing along (see certain passages of lead single ‘Walk Among the Dead’). .

To make matters worse, ‘Disguises’ closes with a recognizable track which hints that Aiden is now stalking a new inspiration: Alkaline Trio. As soon as the familiar ‘Shaking like a dog shittin' razorblades” enters proceedings, it is difficult not to shake your head in bewilderment that Aiden has decided to cover this year 2000 fan favourite. Basing the song around piano is just, but Francis makes Matt Skiba sound like Frank Sinatra. It is a demoralizing finale to the album which almost renders useless what few positives have come before it. In a sense, it sums up Aiden and ‘Disguises’ well… They have given up on significant progression and now aim to be solely prolific. Having released five albums and one EP in less than 7 years, I guess that has been successfully achieved… And that does not even include two atrocious LPs from Francis’ alter-ego side-project William Control. If the remaining three members of Aiden would like to release a worthwhile album in the future, then it may be necessary to form a side-project of their own.

Recommended Tracks: Walk Among the Dead & Hysteria (both of which could be seen as the best and worst tracks here).



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user ratings (130)
Chart.
2
poor
other reviews of this album
Adam Knott EMERITUS (1.5)
this is for the godless and vilified!!!!...

Plank (1.5)
Aiden. The pro of being deaf....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Aiden is taking over Sputnik!

This was so difficult to write without breaking out into a comedy routine. I can empathize with Chan Wurm now.

Oh, and Muse better watch out... They could be next to be stalked if the titles of track 7 & 8 are anything to go by. Can’t wait for Aiden’s cover ‘Knights of Cydonia’.

Slum
March 31st 2011


2579 Comments


is that summary an alkaline trio reference?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yes, because the closing track is an Alkaline Trio cover.

Oh yeah, they went there.

Slum
March 31st 2011


2579 Comments


Oh my god fuck this band

Knott-
Emeritus
March 31st 2011


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

is radio actually an alkaline trio song

this is the amount of research i did

Slum
March 31st 2011


2579 Comments


indeed it is

good review btw Davey. but when you say he makes Andriano sound like Sinatra, it was actually Skiba who sang in Radio. Yeah i'm a nitpicky asshole

wyankeif1337
March 31st 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

this or Knott's review...

tough.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yes Adam. I had a feeling you didn't know when you referred to that lyric in the comments of your review. Trust me when I say the original is better than this version. Then again, it was 11 years ago.

Thanks Nevin. I wanted to check that out & couldn't as I am not at home currently. I knew my memory may have failed me on that one.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
March 31st 2011


50310 Comments


These guys are toast for messing with Alkaline Trio
What kind of name is Wil anyway?

Digging: The Brave Little Abacus - Masked Dancers

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Burnt toast too.

At least Wil is better than wiL. I prefer to call him Billy Boy though.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"I came"

I didn't want to know.

iFghtffyrdmns
March 31st 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

summary is cash. last paragraph sums up my view of them covering Alkaline Trio almost swimmingly. review is nothing short of fantastic.

nice work davey.


they may have seriously killed that AT song for me, bahhh

dimsim3478
March 31st 2011


5001 Comments


Awesome review (as usual), Davey.

Butchering a classic song is bad, but an Alk3 song? That's crossing a big fat fuckin' line.

Digging: Little Big League - These Are Good People

Tyrael
March 31st 2011


20866 Comments


Another fantastic piece of work DaveyBoy.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Scoot
March 31st 2011


17748 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Aural cancer.

IfYouRun
March 31st 2011


292 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

just how disgusted should i be that i used to love this bands first two albums?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks iFghtffyrdmns. You know what? I felt the same initially. Then I went & listened to the original (what the hell made me initially think it was Dan singing?) & I'm fine now. No need for any Alk3detox or anything like that.

Thanks Thomas... Thanks dimsim... Hey, I like what you did there. Almost summary worthy actually.

In all seriousness, Alk3 probably gave their approval. Matt actually sang backing vocals on a song from 'Conviction' if memory serves me correct.

If you really mean "loved", you should be very disgusted. I don't mind their middle 2 albums, but it's nowhere near "love".

PorkchopExpress
March 31st 2011


387 Comments


Is this that band with the lead singer who unironically looks like that Azrael character Chris Kattan played on SNL?

Nevermind. A quick Youtube search told me that yes...yes it is that band. I remember catching a video by these guys about 5 years ago and thinking it was a joke of some sorts. I refuse to even listen to that Alkaline Trio cover. Nice review though.

Poet
March 31st 2011


5933 Comments


I can empathize with Chan Wurm now.


I lol'd



JWT155
March 31st 2011


9236 Comments


People have actually subjected themselves to this, at least 4 Sputnikers. You guys should get a medal or something.

Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World



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