Modestep
Evolution Theory


3.5
great

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
February 15th, 2013 | 89 replies


Release Date: 02/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Booming from the subwoofers as much as it’s bursting at the seams with variety.

Seeking to break away from the usually mundane and repetitious stereotypes associated with the more dance-oriented dubstep variant “brostep”, UK electronic music group Modestep’s debut album Evolution Theory packs a vast arsenal of varying sonic textures to offer the American dubstep scene at its peak. What makes Modestep notably different from the typical dubstep artists such as Skrillex and Knife Party is that the name isn’t attached to one person or a duo as an alias, they’re a four member strong band. Modestep’s music benefits greatly from this fact because it doesn’t have to rely on samples for vocals or instruments. Vocalist Josh Friend provides all the falsetto singing required, and Nick Tsang brings live guitars to the table; making for a natural sound and unique method for the dubstep genre in how it is partially acquired from live recordings rather than just through tracking and layering.

Modestep obviously intend to have a well-rounded and original spin on the brostep scene with their debut, and they succeed in bringing the genre to some familiar angles, but plenty of new and interesting areas as well. They delve into radio-ready, poppy territory with album opener “Show Me a Sign” and “Sunlight”, the latter of which brings to mind the work of David Guetta. A untamed wild side is quickly revealed through the volatile guitar shredding on “Freedom”, and even by the surprise guitar solo fit for an '80s arena rock band in the initially jazzy lounge session “Time". These metal elements are absent from quite a few tracks, and the styles rapidly alternate with each song, but that’s not to say that this is an error of consistency, as it’s more important that Modestep are assuring listeners that they can’t expect a set formula or routine from the band’s music. “To the Stars” begins with gentle and subdued acoustic strumming which sets the stage for anticipation and pays off with a heated electro-clash climax.

Now, even with all this talk of different elements, casual fans who just crave the bass and only the bass need not worry, as the bludgeoning bass blitz are found in nearly every single track with all their glitchy goodness intact. It’s important to note that Modestep doesn’t fail to cater to the desires of the average dubstep fan by not distracting from the bass drop-laden choruses despite all the contrasting musical elements, but at the same time, they remind listeners that dubstep shouldn’t only be about the wubs, drops, and filler buildup between the two.

Guest features are abound throughout the album, with UK rappers D Power, Frisco, and Jammin’ bringing a group’s effort helping of grime style to the banging self-titled track, and Popeska lacing “Another Day” with a smoky finish. Though Evolution Theory is truly a one of a kind album in the brostep scene, it’s not without its share of flaws. Because of the fusion of a live band and heavy electronic elements in namely the production, these songs can sometimes unintentionally feel like remixes of themselves, which could potentially irritate some listeners. The combined powers of pop, jazz, metal guitars, and intense bass music may not be generic in itself, but these individual elements that are mixed to obtain this sound are a bit generic standalone.

Overall however, Evolution Theory shows great potential for growth in the American dubstep scene, which currently is primarily suffering from a lack of variety and repetitious behavior, and will attract fans of the movement, all the while showing them that the genre can be so much more creative and ambitious.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
breakingthefragile
February 15th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Catchy and addicting stuff.

breakingthefragile
February 15th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also, I took Valentine's Day off for obvious reasons, but I kind of wanted to review a love themed album for the occasion, but since there were no new releases of the sort this week, I picked this instead.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013


22011 Comments


The songs I heard off this were absolutely awful

Digging: Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
February 15th 2013


3471 Comments


Shocked this got such a good rating, was expecting it to be pretty awful considering that it's Modestep that was behind this. Good review, though.

fromtheinside
February 15th 2013


18717 Comments


lol, no way, the sunlight hurts me guys?

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2

slipnslide
February 15th 2013


2640 Comments


sunlight hurts my EYES

slipnslide
February 15th 2013


2640 Comments



"Also, I took Valentine's Day off for obvious reasons, but I kind of wanted to review a love themed album for the occasion, but since there were no new releases of the sort this week, I picked this instead."

omg so cute

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013


6487 Comments


Ugh, hate this band. Really obnoxious stuff.

And I've reread it three times, but the first sentence still doesn't make all that much sense to me tbh...

bringing the genre to some familiar angles

This seems quite weird as well.

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

Acanthus
February 15th 2013


9543 Comments


As far as this type of live dubstep goes I enjoy these guys and Savoy quite a bit depending on the track; can really get a room going when the mood is right.

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts

Winsomniac
February 15th 2013


7983 Comments


Video for Sunlight brings the lulz

Acanthus
February 15th 2013


9543 Comments


Video for Sunlight gives the increasingly younger generation of druggies hope for the future, which is ironic in many ways.

nononsense
February 15th 2013


3416 Comments


Booming from the subwoofers as much as it’s bursting at the seams with variety.

Stopped reading right there

mindleviticus
February 15th 2013


8292 Comments


doesn't sound too good tbh

Winsomniac
February 15th 2013


7983 Comments


Yeah I'm fairly sure Sunlight is about as much this-step as I can stand.

Mad.
February 15th 2013


3981 Comments


This music hearts my EARS.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 15th 2013


8371 Comments


These guys were behind the song "Feel Good", which, thanks to a few friends, managed to be one of the most obnoxious songs I heard in 2011. Yea, I'm not fond of this band at all. Good review though, Alex.

Wolfhorde
February 15th 2013


13648 Comments


"Video for Sunlight gives the increasingly younger generation of druggies hope for the future, which is ironic in many ways."

"Video for Sunlight brings the lulz"


same thing.

Tyrael
February 15th 2013


20900 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Lol this is terrible

good review tho

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013


21464 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I remember mentioning these guys in a list and getting ripped apart lol

I dont think theyre that bad though. Ill probably check this out

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2013


21464 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

*just awful. I mean jeez if youre gonna plagiarize at least get it right



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