Review Summary: This is.... not worth your time.6 of 8 thought this review was well written
3STM self-titled debut was a grunge/rock style record, that used bands like Nirvana and A Perfect Circle as their pallet of sound. The results were positive and it seemed like a promising start for these guy’s.
Moving on the band released their second album, A Beautiful Lie, which took a slightly different turn but still had the foundations of the band mixed with a tasteful amount of pop elements and more straightforward rock –the music videos were infuriatingly arty and prentious - but overall the changes went in the bands favour catering for old fans while drawing in new fans.
Now, if you look up interviews of these guy’s you’ll actually find out why they went from grunge to epic-chanting bull*** in three records -you could give them credit for being so bold or further your anger with the band- the answer they gave was simple: they did it because they weren’t getting the fanbase or getting noticed quickly enough. With the change in sound with their second record, they noticed how much more exposure the band recieved and took what made it happen and magnified it by 10.
The final product and latest album, This Is War, is one I don’t hate, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a step forward.
During the making of This Is War the band went through a lot of crap, going through a lawsuit with their previous record label that was dragged on for quite some time and to make matters worse the bassist did one (probably realizing where the band was headed). It’s fair to say they were in a bad place at the time of recording, fuelled with anger they had something to talk about.
The end result?
My feelings for this album are of bitter disappointment, because the few good songs on this album are really good, like Night of the Hunter it’s a very solid, catchy and upbeat song that ticked all the boxes for a good 3STM. The problem is songs like this rarely come up.
I found two main things that killed this album for me 1.) Jared’s voice throughout most of the album is him doing that awful “epic” whispering singing he occasionally did in A Beautiful Lie and 2) the child chior. The child chior is the biggest problem for me and it’s in almost every song! Why would they do this? I don’t know, maybe Jared thought if he created this little club (ironic, no?) of ankle biting ***s to sing on the album it’d bring swarms of young people to the feet of Jared, so he could create an army (that looks like a fascist rally in some of the music videos) of mindless fools that will give him lots of attention and money.
Lets look at this from a different angle: if you like your songs to be watered down with irritating BV’s from kids, you’ll love this album. The frustrating thing is when the songs don’t have the choir in and Jared actually attempts to sing the songs pay off. Night of the Hunter, This is War, Hurricane, Stranger in a Strange Land and L 490 all have very appealing things about them and push the band forward in all the right ways. If the album was consistant and followed these songs throughout the whole album it would have been a much better effort. Hell, I wouldn’t have minded the chanting if it was only for one song, but it’s like everything in this album: it’s overindulged. Everything has to be Hollywood epic, from the singing to the music itself and unfortunately everything suffers from it.
Overall the album poorly masks it's marketing ploy with pointless and unnessesary chanting. And while the second half of the album shows a lot more promise with experimentation of sounds, it's quickly dragged down with things that make it wrong. Hopefully they'll sort out what went wrong in the next record... if there is one.