Review Summary: Although not a bad album, Falling in Reverse shows signs that they could do something so much greater
Few things are as frustrating as seeing someone with so much potential restrict themselves in order to try to please other people. Falling in Reverse’s debut, The Drug in Me is You, is the musical equivalent to that smart, pretty girl in high school who tried so hard to come off as just another dumb blonde trying to be popular. Although most people would love to write the band off as the latest flavor of the week for scene kids, rays of genius can be found trying desperately to crack through the generic modern post-hardcore mold all throughout this album.
All the members of Falling in Reverse know what they are doing with their instruments, and they are certainly head-and-shoulders above the ocean of other scene kids chugging muted open strings nonstop. Ronnie Radke has always sounded almost too good to be singing in a “emo” band, and Jacky Vincent shows multiple times throughout the album that he can definitely shred his guitar and play some interesting harmonies with the rhythm. The drums are always tight and effective, and the bass has its moments throughout the album, especially on songs like Pick up the Phone and the title track.
But, while all the musicianship is fine and good, what’s so infuriating is that you know that they could do something so much better if they were willing to step out of their comfort zone. You’ll be hard pressed to find a song that varies from the typical Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Breakdown/Solo formula. The solos, while all of them sound decent and are quite technical, seem to be lacking in passion and melody, instead resorting back to running through scales and sweep picking as fast as possible to try and be impressive. The rhythm playing has its moments of greatness, but then it switches back to chugalugging just as you start to think something is changing.
That’s not to say there is no experimentation, however. Sink or Swim is incredibly catchy, and shows some great vocal work while also experimenting with drum machines and rap beats being mixed into one of the better breakdowns on the album. Caught Like a Fly starts out with trombones and a circus music vibe, then transitions to an incredibly catchy hook that works out very well and grows on you with each listen. Later on, we are treated to one of the best guitar solos on the record, not because of its technicality, but because Vincent actually slows down and focuses on letting out some amazing melodies that complement the dark, angry vibe of the song perfectly. The bridge also features a terrific piano part before coming back to one final chorus and some ending lines by a very angry sounding Ronnie.
Although Ronnie does an excellent job with his singing, his lyrics are a whole different story. He does have some witty lines, and some great poetic ones throughout the album, but they are almost always ruined by his need to drop cheap shots at his former band in nearly every song. Although he does a great job of writing some angry, revengeful lines in Caught Like a Fly and a handful of other songs, it is usually accompanied by a cringe-inducing line shortly after.
In all, The Drug in Me is You is far from a bad record if you like this kind of modern poppy-hardcore-esque music, but I can’t help but hope that Falling in Reverse learn from their mistakes and start to expand upon the experimentation found here with new song structures and instrumentals. If they do, they could become one of the best bands in the genre, and if not, they’ll no doubt fade back into obscurity once kids get over the fact that Ronnie’s back.
Caught Like a Fly
Raised by Wolves
The Drug in Me is You