Pop Evil
Onyx


2.5
average

Review

by H. USER (117 Reviews)
May 26th, 2013 | 29 replies


Release Date: 05/14/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Boring and generic, but not completely awful.

Unlike most others, I have a great amount of tolerance for generic, boring radio rock. Whenever I hear a Nickelback song on the radio, I don't have the urge to immediately change the channel (unless it's Photograph, because, damn, that is just unbearable). However, for some strange reason, many bands will try and copy the inane and completely stale formula used by Kroeger and Co., and this leads to many unnecessary copycats such as Hinder and Theory of a Deadman, whose fifteen minutes of fame occur for no justifiable reason. Among these Nickelback imitators are Pop Evil, a five-piece mainstream hard rock (a fancy word for generic) band from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Could Pop Evil finally turn the tide and end mainstream rock's bad reputation, or would they simply fall into the same trap that countless other rip-offs?

At first listen, Pop Evil's name sounds like it may be true. Their music is nothing but stale hard rock, spreading evil across popular media. However, after repeated listens, it all comes clear. Pop Evil aren't over-the-top awful; they're just boring, like every other mainstream rock. The only thing wrong about the album is how stale, boring and uncatchy it is. For evidence of this, look no further than lead single, "Trenches". The combination of faux-rap verses and forgettable choruses (a la Disturbed) adds up to an unmemorable song. With its boring hook, weak vocal performance, and the lack of rock being played on pop radio, don't expect "Trenches" to blow up the charts.

It’s that formula that plagues Pop Evil’s third album; the same formula that countless other knockoffs have used. It’s the formula that results in every song sounding the same (every band sounding the same, to be honest), the formula that winds up doing all harm and no good. Pop Evil have fallen victim to this, and that was expected. No mainstream rock band can survive without being attacked by critics, hated by ex-fans or struggling to keep up with prior success.

And because of this wretched formula, Onyx has some horrible, horrible songs. “Deal With the Devil” contains tons of cringe-worthy moments, including lead singer Leigh Kakaty’s many screams in the chorus. “Welcome to Reality” features a repetitive chorus and another instance of horrid screaming by Kakaty. “Torn to Pieces” is the closest to a ballad you’ll get on this album, and it’s a real snoozer, featuring cheesy lyrics and an over-used subject matter about a break-up.

Yet, for all the overblown, terrible mainstream rock that Pop Evil seem to offer, the rest of the album is surprisingly average, the only mistake made being that it is boring and forgettable. The middle of this album is actually pretty decent, with songs like “Divide” and “Beautiful” reminiscent of early Linkin Park (the former even has a riff similar to “From the Inside”). These songs may slip out of your head minutes after first listen, as they still aren’t catchy and are just plain boring, but at least they weren’t Hinder-level bad.

So in the end, Pop Evil’s third album is nothing more but a surprisingly average album. There are some stinker songs, but other than that, the album isn’t that bad, just boring. It isn’t a good album, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone I know, but it could have been way worse. There are no highlights in the album, and every song does sound the same after a while, yet, when the dust finally settles, this album can be summarized in just a few words: Forgettable, but not awful.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
Deuce8311 (2)
Another band tries to bring something interesting to mainstream rock radio, yet ultimately fails....

Alex Beebe (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
May 25th 2013


20208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Don't know how I feel about this one. Part of me thinks this is boring and generic as fuck. The other half thinks that there's nothing really bad about the album... other than how boring and generic as fuck it is.

breakingthefragile
May 26th 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think this album is a substantial improvement over their last outing. This band is pretty generic, but I think they bring a force to their performances that gives the music a much bigger kick than what their contemporaries have.

Green Baron
May 26th 2013


20208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Exactly, which is why I didn't straight up give it a 1. Haven't listened to any of their previous albums, but I might try one for kicks.

RogueNine
June 15th 2013


1357 Comments


In a slight turn of irony, "Trenches" is at #5 on the Active Rock Charts. I kinda like it and would be able to put up with it a lot more if Leigh didn't go "YOWWW!!" all the time.

Green Baron
June 18th 2013


20208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

The YOWWW! is what completely ruins it. The rest of the song is tolerable enough.

Speaking of coincidence, both this and Rise Against's Sufferer and Witness have a song called 'Behind Closed Doors as track ten.


Minushuman24
July 10th 2013


296 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

My hate for Trenches is sooo strong.... such an annoying song

TheSupernatural
July 19th 2013


1264 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Agree completely, I listened once when they released a stream of it, and that was all I could take.

Green Baron
March 1st 2014


20208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I am so surprised at how big this album's singles have become

Apollo
June 4th 2014


10357 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

The single on the radio all the time sucks

RogueNine
June 5th 2014


1357 Comments


#1 spot now.

Green Baron
June 5th 2014


20208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

God, I hate all and every single one of the singles. Album cuts are less shitty. So to recap...

Trenches - #1
Deal With the Devil - #1
Torn to Pieces - #1

Fuck.

Green Baron
June 5th 2014


20208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I can't believe I'm saying this, but Linkin Park should have held onto #1.

RogueNine
June 5th 2014


1357 Comments


Royal Blood is #6 if it makes you feel any better.

Green Baron
June 5th 2014


20208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

**** #7

and Nothing More is #9. But I regress.

RogueNine
June 5th 2014


1357 Comments


Depends on the chart you use.
http://www.americasmusiccharts.com/index.cgi?fmt=R2

Green Baron
June 5th 2014


20208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-mainstream-rock-tracks

RogueNine
June 5th 2014


1357 Comments


Differences arise because one is based on airplay and the other on sales.

Green Baron
June 6th 2014


20208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

nope, both are based on airplay

here is the airplay stats:

http://charts.bdsradio.com/bdsradiocharts/charts.aspx?formatid=54

RogueNine
June 7th 2014


1357 Comments


Ok, now we're just confusing each other. The link I posted is based on airplay as well. But Billboard doing a chart that doesn't have to do with sales? This is new to me.

Green Baron
June 7th 2014


20208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Billboard's sales only factor into the whole genre chart

look at Hot Rock Songs, it's a fucking sham that chart is.



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