Review Summary: Besides the sloppiness, decent debut.
A lot of people were skeptical of this band, and that includes me. When I heard about Michael Bohn, Tyler Carter, Cory Ferris, and Ben Ferris ALL forming a new band together (all of which or former members of Woe, Is Me
), I immediatly thought the same thing everyone did. Woe, Is Me 2. Or for some people who think that the new WIM line-up is better, Woe, Is Me 0.5. However that is not the case. What Issues did with this EP is something far from the portfolio of Woe. While WIM is metalcore/post-hardcore with synth (who isn't these days?), Issues performed a style of metalcore that contained melodic hardcore and nu-metal (yes..nu-metal) influences. The only thing keeping this from getting higher than a 3 is that the style is performed sloppy, with the influences not transitioning in but rather just happening all of a sudden within the song. Hopefully they can change this with their debut full-length.
The EP opens up with "Black Diamonds." Which is the second worst song on the album. First off, why there would be an intro on an EP of all things is beyond me. Intros on a release that's usually less than 25 minutes is annoying in itself. To make matters worse, the "song," if it can be called that, is nothing more than generic dubstep. Nothing to try and set it apart from other hardcore intros or dubstep tracks. Just. Dubstep.
The next track is "King of Amarillo," which was also the first single released from the EP. The intro blasts in with some string bends and is a perfect example of what takes place for the rest of the EP. The track shows the melodic hardcore influences towards the whole beginning of the song. The song also shows the first example of the band's nu-metal influences, with it's breakdown containing a turntable section. Unfourtunatly, it also shows the first example of the band's sloppiness. Where the turntable breakdown transitioned in, the R&B section from Tyler doesn't. It just happens.
The next track is "The Worst Of Them," which is quite possibly the best song on the album. Michael's vocals aren't really relavent until the end of the song. The song is basically all Tyler. However, Tyler's vocals are not all boy band-ish like most of the EP (or all his work for that matter), but instead show a sound that you could find in alternative rock. That basically sums up this track actually. Alternative rock. Personally, my favorite throught the whole EP.
"Princeton Ave" is the next song and is also the second single from the EP. This song is my second favorite on the album. While the music bores me (once again, an all-of-the-sudden R&B section comes in, worse than the first one), the lyrics are written very nicely. The chorus seems to be about an abusive man, being a subject that most hardcore bands don't write about (The Plot In You
being the only one I can remember). The music, like I said, is boring in this song though.
Here is where I finally get to rage. "Love Sex Riot." Why this atrocity of a song was included I will never know. The funny thing is is that this intro is my favorite intro out of all the songs. As soon as I heard it, this was my favorite song on the album. But then intro ended, the song actually began, and this became my least favorite on the whole EP. Just warning you, for the people that don't like Tyler's voice to begin with, you probably won't like it drenched in auto-tune like it is in this song. Not to mention, as much as I like Attila
, Fronz's guest vocals in this song are awful and just simply shouldn't have happened. Skip this track after the first 20 seconds. Just trust me.
The EP closes with "Her Monologue." Not much that I can say about this song. It didn't really stand out to me. Not saying it is a bad track, just saying it isn't special. The musicianship througout the song is the same musicianship throughout the EP. Bended groove riffs, nu-metal inspired synth, and Tyler's R&B style singing. And alright closer to the EP.
Even reading my own review, I feel like I should give this a 2.5. Maybe even a 2 just because of "Love Sex Riot" (if you can tell, not a big fan of the song). However, I give it a 3. Why? Because the concept behind their music style is intriguing. And I disagree with the people calling this generic. In my opinion, Issues has a unique sound. If they could just fine-tune this style and not be so sloppy with it, I could see Issues being the stand out band on Rise. But I guess time will tell if they can do that.