Review Summary: Metalcore deserving of your most withering disdain.
I, The Writer are a band from Croydon, a suburb on the outskirts of London, England. However, you would be forgiven for mistaking them for one of the many American metalcore bands vying for the hard earned cash of children everywhere. Here we have a band so determined not to carve their own niche that their debut EP lacks anything that could even be mistaken for a distinguishing feature.
When a band has a name that is startlingly close to that of one of their primary influences, a person may feel inclined to question the legitimacy of the creative process at work. That person would be correct to do so and won't be surprised by the answers.
Looking at the 3 tracks on display, there is a common knack for picking out riffs and ideas that have been tried and tested to the point of exhaustion. Guitars chug mindlessly through verses and attempt to uplift during choruses (managing only to enrage) while the rhythm section trundles along fearful of adventure and flare. The vocals are perhaps the worst of all: limply gliding when attempting to soar and lacking anything approaching aggression, punch or impact when the overly processed shouting subjects the listener to a beginners guide to sounding pissed off because you took some lessons on screaming from some guy on Youtube.
It is hard not to take notice of lyrical themes that can only be described as a secularized pastiche of christian metalcore tropes. The listener can be met with broken, confused sentences shifting tense and perspective like a ship being tossed about by squall after squall. The poor construction of the lyrics could be ignored if they had something interesting, heartfelt or vaguely genuine to say but the sentiments contained are just as vapid as they are disjointed.
To top it off, the exemplar for the slickly produced confusion is found in "Narrow Minded", a song so narrow in scope that it could almost pass for a satirical jab at their peers if it weren't for their absolute belief that it the formula they are following is one that will lead to success.
There are a few pluses to this release, though they are mostly dealing with the production and mixing rather than content of the songs themselves. The sound is a crisp one with all instruments (apart from the predictably largely mixed out bass) given breathing room and the electronic elements gel nicely with the live instrumentation, those in charge of handling the technical side of things should be commended for making this sound clear and balanced throughout. However the positives just prove the cliche of being unable to polish a turd.
While there are glimmers of talent for crafting and emulating tried and tested ideas- in the way you might teach a parrot to swear, it is hard to imagine this release or any subsequent ones by this band being anything more than nails for their own coffin to be buried in another unmarked grave in the metalcore's cemetery.
For the sake of listeners everywhere when this band and others like them are finally buried we should take care to fill their mouths with salt and sew their lips and their eyes shut to prevent them from ever cashing in on a revival or nostalgia.