Review Summary: The album title is way too enticing.
To be rash, everything leading up to The Paramedic's debut album, Smoke and Mirrors
, is pointing towards a musical catastrophe. Let's check out the band's history leading up to this point.
Formed in 2009, The Paramedic released two stellar extended plays that pushed what melodic post-hardcore could be, with blistering dual lead guitars, soaring lead vocals, and exciting drums. After a change in lead singer, the band's sound completely changed in favor of an electronica/metalcore sound, a la Asking Alexandria or Attack Attack!. More marketable? Indeed. Painful to hear? Very. Eventually, the founding members of the band, excluding one, left and were replaced accordingly (My theory is they jumped ship. Smart fellows). The current band has now been signed to Tooth & Nail records to coincide with their appropriately titled debut album, Smoke and Mirrors
. Now, on to the album.
As soon as the album begins, it is blatantly obvious The Paramedic really wanted to create an "epic" atmosphere to introduce the album. With some "epic" strings and keyboards, Xenophobia
introduces us to the band. Sadly, the predictable and bland progression of this metalcore song doesn't warrant the grandiose introduction. The lyrical "prowess" of the band is first evident in the same song, when singer Mike Luciano belts out the chant:
We came to party, we don't give a ***.
The Paramedic mean business guys.
After hearing countless mediocre and downright terrible metalcore bands in the past, The Paramedic has taken the cake for this reviewer.
As Smoke and Mirrors
continues, every song is just as painful and surprising as the last. The lyrics depict the band as hard party-ers, and as generally selfish people. The synth bridges with ever present auto-tune are constant, and the breakdowns are endless. This is not a fun place to be, I will tell you right now my dear sputnikers. The world of Smoke and Mirrors
is nearly a nightmare. The repetition and sheer immaturity from the first six tracks is almost painful to listen to.
When We Fight
gives us a small break from it all with a......soothing R&B track?...Yes. The band felt it was necessary to throw in an R&B song on the record. In the style of Usher, When We Fight
actually might be the best song on the record, in context with the trainwreck of songs placed before it, but wouldn't hold up if played by itself.
The new Paramedic sound is finally here. And boy oh boy has it hit with a flash. I would make a "smoke and mirrors" joke in context to the album to end this review, but this album is way more painful than that.