Hollywood Undead
Notes From the Underground


1.5
very poor

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
January 16th, 2013 | 43 replies


Release Date: 01/08/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hollywood Undead continue to carry on as if the rap rock craze at the turn of the century is still ongoing; offering a third album that once again doesn’t give listeners any reason why they should be interested in the genre.

Hollywood Undead entered the rap rock game just as nu metal was practically on its death bed. The over-saturation of the scene had arguably peaked around 2003, and with Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, and Korn’s relevancy to angst-riddled teenage audiences slowly withering away, the genre had taken a plummeting decline in popularity just as Hollywood Undead had formed and hit Myspace with their debut song in 2005. Being among the scarce few of their dwindling kind in a post-rap metal world where post-grunge/alternative rock acts such as Staind and Three Days Grace had secured dominance over the popular modern rock waves, Hollywood Undead has since found themselves a rough niche in the alternative metal scene, but only due to the fact that it’s really the only area that they can somewhat hope to fit into. The only characteristic Hollywood Undead seems to share with their hard rocker peers is the rock instrumentation that backs their rapped/sung alternations. Indeed, other than the element of drums and guitars, Hollywood Undead’s blunt themes concerning a “gangsta” lifestyle of downing 40s, stacking papers, and getting women makes the band stick out like a sore thumb in comparison to the brooding subject matter their tour mates specialize in.

For the the two albums that they’ve released in their careers, the group has been easily identifiable for this shamelessly profane presentation of care-free partying themes, and the only real notable development that Hollywood Undead seems to have made with their third album Notes from the Underground, is that they have almost completely dropped the shameless attitude, and have significantly toned down the tongue-in-cheek topics. Notes from the Underground opts for a more serious and darker personality than the band is known is for, but even if the themes may have taken on a mature change, the formula of their music hasn’t altered in any way.

Small progressions in maturity aside, at its core and at face value as well, Notes from the Underground sounds like how you’d expect a Hollywood Undead album to sound like: innocuous and uninspired metal riffs that are too polished from the over-production of the album to pack any sort of punch, serving as support for brutishly delivered rapping that lacks any and all grit with such tepid and sterile music and high-pitched clean vocals surrounding it. Like on all their records, every band member contributes vocals to the album in some fashion. The group’s third rapper, Funny Man provides a form of deep and low toned rapping that just as easily could have been achieved with voice manipulation effects, and the rest of the band members offer backing screams to songs that have a more emotional touch such as “Outside” and “Rain”.

Main rapper, Charlie Scene hasn’t made refinements to his rapping or advancements in his writing abilities since the band’s last record. His delivery still doesn’t really possess any type of rhythm, or flow, or even grace for that matter. Scene mostly just yells his head off as loud as he can in a rather thuggish manner regardless of the topic, whether it be a fit of rage over loneliness on “From the Ground", or something as absurd as comparing a quarterback’s hunched over starting position to a women flaunting her rear on “Pigskin”. Clean vocalist, Danny hasn’t made much in the way of improvement in his form either. Danny enters songs usually to only present choruses detailing the agony of being a misunderstood adolescent, and his wailing squeals of pain when doing so all too frequently jump into whining territory. The contrast between Scene’s furious shouting and Danny’s needy cries for attention that the two maintain throughout the album is one that often leads to these two opposites canceling each other out, and on top of that, this can become quite the insufferably annoying mixture at times.

In the very least, Hollywood Undead has significantly toned down the immature and trashy themes that make up their idea of a California gangsta’s lifestyle, making it much more easier to take their anthems of self-loathing seriously than it was on the past two albums when the themes conflicted and undercut each other. Even still, since the group has made no progression with this album, it’s a little sad to say that the best thing about Notes from the Underground is that it isn’t any worse than any other one of Hollywood Undead’s albums.



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2.3
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Comments:Add a Comment 
breakingthefragile
January 16th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

We Are is so bitchy that it's barely tolerable.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2013


28659 Comments


yeah this album is such an electric city

got me to go back and listen to swan songs another 10 or so times so at least there's that

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2013


9049 Comments


Nothing lends you artistic credibility like a Dostoevsky reference

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2013


28659 Comments


deuce's record shits all over this one

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2013


28659 Comments


i do like how in dead bite he says he's gonna engrave a dick on your tombstone


album needs more stuff like that, less stuff like "We Are"

Emim
January 16th 2013


26646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

5 or dei

sustainthesatan
January 16th 2013


212 Comments


is this album really that bad lol? American Tragedy had a couple of good songs on it.

breakingthefragile
January 16th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

If you thought American Tragedy had some decent tracks, then you'll most likely think the same of this album. It's pretty much along the same lines, except this is a more serious album all around.

breakingthefragile
January 16th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I gotta say though, I for one found it to be pretty boring as a whole.

sustainthesatan
January 16th 2013


212 Comments


i heard the singles before and listened to 3 songs off it and its awful. American Tragedy is a great release

breakingthefragile
January 16th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I've never dug these guys at all really. They just come off as the biggest posers to
me. I could never take their songs about cutting their wrists seriously in any way,
especially when they proceed to talk about droppin' dem panties and poppin' those
40s on the track afterwards.

sustainthesatan
January 16th 2013


212 Comments


"I could never take their songs about cutting their wrists seriously in any way, especially when they proceed to talk about droppin' dem panties and poppin' those 40s on the next track." yeah agreed, BUT Bullet was the best song off of American Tragedy and that was about "cutting their wrists" among other things lol.

breakingthefragile
January 16th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I was mostly reffering to their song Black Dahlia off of their debut Swan Songs with
the cutting their wrists thing lol. I'd actually have to say that their debut is their best
album imo, not by much though. At least I could laugh at some of the lyrics on
there. It's still so fucking hard to believe that Danny Lohner from Nine Inch Nails
produced this album and Swan Songs. There is literally nothing here that's his style.

sustainthesatan
January 16th 2013


212 Comments


i didn't like their debut at all. That and this are offences to the music industry in my opinion. American Tragedy was a 3.5 for me though. Great release and I don't understand why it's average rating is like 2.3

breakingthefragile
January 16th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm curious, what did you like about that album so much? I don't really think it's too different from this or their debut at all.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2013


50587 Comments


HOLLY WOOD HOLLY WOOD
FUCKIN A LOADED GUN

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

sustainthesatan
January 16th 2013


212 Comments


"I'm curious, what did you like about that album so much? I don't really think it's too different from this or their debut at all." a couple of the songs in particular just stuck out to me-Hear Me Now and Bullet in particular-the way Bullet had such a happy tune and really depressive lyrics, and Hear Me Now was just pretty well written lyrically. I dont absolutely love that album and theres a lot of shit on there but its got some good stuff as well

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2013


50587 Comments


The album cover looks like it belongs to a early 2000s post-hardcore band

breakingthefragile
January 16th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm gonna have to disagree with you on Hear Me Now, because I just really despise
this Danny guy's singing style. I personally think he sounds like a little prissy 12
year old crying over having to do his homework lol. But hey, to each his own.

breakingthefragile
January 16th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I have some friends who think Justin's voice in Baby is annoying, but they all think this Danny guy's singing is a thousand times more irritating.



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