Review Summary: Like fingernails on a cell wall.
It’s fair to say that there is a certain amount of expectation when it comes to Falling in Reverse’s debut album, The Drug In Me Is You
. Most people curious about the album will be familiar with frontman Ronnie Radke’s past in Escape the Fate and his 2 ½ year stint in prison (which ended in December last year). Many people who enjoyed Dying Is Your Latest Fashion
-era Escape The Fate but have felt alienated by Radke’s replacement and their subsequent albums have high hopes that this could hark back to those days. But whether you’re hoping for DIYLF Pt. 2
or just looking for a fun and exciting pop-metal record, The Drug In Me Is You
will disappoint you.
Writing catchy metalcore is fine if can you do it well, and Ronnie Radke’s clean and polished voice is obviously well suited for large melodic hooks. Unfortunately, Falling in Reverse have noticed this. Surely this should be a good thing? Not when it’s relied on this much. Almost every song sounds the same in that they employ a verse-chorus structure with a large, poppy chorus over chugging guitars. Since the vocals are practically the only point of interest 90% of the time, this leaves nothing to fall back on should it fail to capture the listener. Which it does. A lot.
That’s the part that Falling In Reverse have failed to consider. Can they actually, consistently, write catchy melodies? Consistently, no. Of course there are one or two particularly catchy songs, notably the title track with its “I've lost my god damn mind/It happens all the time/I can't believe I'm actually/Meant to be here/Trying to consume/The drug in me is you”
chorus. People may also find a couple or more specific other songs appealing but with the exception of the title track the rest of the album is completely hit and miss; and usually the latter. The fundamental problem is simply that the melodies just aren’t that great
. It doesn’t help that Radke’s shrill voice becomes extremely irritating by the end of the record. But at least they're always better his screams (just listen to the ending of “Don’t Mess With Ouija Boards”).
As for the guitars, when they aren’t chugging away to their heart’s content, they’re playing a god-awful typical metalcore breakdown (“Sink or Swim” features no less than three) or a solo that for the large part of the time seems to value excessive speed over anything else. Not a single song fails to include either one or both and they rarely add anything to the song; indeed, often making it worse. And there’s no variety when all of your songs are typical verse-largechorus-solo/breakdown songs, especially when they’re as generic as they are.
One of the most infuriating things about The Drug In Me Is You
are the cringe-worthy moments abundant throughout the record. Ranging from the ridiculous keyboard solo on “Raised By Wolves” (that sounds like it could come straight off of a Super Mario game), to the samples of vomiting in “I’m Not A Vampire”, the la-la-la-ing in “Tragic Magic”, the absolutely awful breakdown in “Don’t Mess With Ouija Boards”, and the lyrics/song subjects of some songs (for example in “Tragic Magic” where Ronnie Radke declares himself “king of the music scene”
); The Drug In Me Is You
stands as a perfect example of how ridiculous additions to a song can almost completely ruin it for the average listener. Even when the verses make an attempt to be different and interesting in relation to the rest of the album (for example in “Caught Like A Fly”), it falls foul to this demerit. These aspects were obviously added to try to make the record fun, to fit in with its poppy chorus agenda, but somehow it just doesn’t work.
In short, The Drug In Me Is You
is a failure. Its attempt to create catchy post-hardcore/metalcore for the large part fails and it relies too much on its ability to do so for it to give the listener much else to digest. The breakdowns and solos are terrible and many sound the same anyway. Combine all this with the overuse of the same song structure and the listener may not feel they are getting the variety that twelve songs should promise. It is simply too uninventive, too generic and too dull. Falling In Reverse have some thinking to do.
*The Drug In Me Is You
+Listeners may find some songs, especially the title track, catchy
+Ronnie Radke’s singing voice is well suited to this type of music
-Generic and uninventive guitar parts
-Overuse of solos and breakdowns
-Solos and breakdowns are largely awful with the exception of one or two (solos that is)
-Ronnie Radke’s voice can get irritating by the end of the record
-Ronnie Radke’s screams
-Ridiculous, cringe-worthy moments (of which there are so many)
-Hit and miss melodies