Review Summary: Unforgivably sloppy; stay clear of this incoherent amalgamation of genres if possible.
There’s a good share of bands in all genres of music that indulge in clichés, which in turn restrains the group’s potential to create memorable music thanks to said filler material. It’s somewhat rare however that a band fully embraces these gimmicks, puts them on full display and expects to be taken seriously. Abandon All Ships is just such a band, calling upon just about every stale and overused gimmick from Post-Hardcore to its side. “Infamous”, the band’s sophomore effort is a daunting listen due to sheer laziness, its vapid nature and how it’s completely inconsistent listen from start to finish.
We open up with “Good Old Friend”, which exemplifies this album perfectly. Not even ten seconds in and we're greeted with a breakdown, layered by random euro-trance synthetics before the unclean vocals come in. You’ve just heard a good portion of the instrumental structure in this album in that one opening segment. This album is filled with chugging, open chords, breakdowns and pointless electronics. The only exception to the pattern is “August”, which is a heavily overproduced and repetitive ballad. The lyricism is the biggest offender this album has to offer, and the sole reason for this is because it’s completely inconsistent and has no point to make. “Less Than Love” is a perfect example of the lack of coherency, jumping from this verse, “You're a firm, believer in more than one, pray the right will come”
, to this one, “Well, I hate to break it to you, you're just some ***ing slut.”
It shows a lack of honesty and feels just as forced as the music itself.
The unclean vocals are downright ridiculous. Angelo has no range, and sometimes his delivery is so forced and grating that it’s unsure whether or not he’s even using his diaphragm to scream. Plenty of generic stutter effects, vocal layering and other production boosts are present here and not even those can save his wicked witch of the west impressions from hogging the spotlight in such a negative way. The clean vocals for the most part are coated in a sea of auto-tune, rendering Martin’s voice almost unrecognizable. When they aren’t layered in heavy doses of production, they come across as lazy and unimpressive. The previously mentioned track “Good Old Friend” has one verse of Martin’s semi-natural voice. Like Angelo, Martin is stuck in his mid range and never ventures out of it when he’s not swimming among the waves of studio magic. Pitch correction is this band’s best friend, and it still let them down.
There is an almost complete absence of variety in the instrumentation. The guitars rarely leave the first two frets, resulting in a bland and predictable performance. The bass follows in toe with the guitars, and is practically inaudible due to the smothering production. There are a few nice drum fills here and there, particularly on the last track of the album. Nothing stands out in this disaster of an album. Most likely, Abandon All Ships now has an infamous reputation for being the next band in the scene to follow the same cookie cutter trends in the genre. This is a colossal waste of space in anyone’s music library and one of the laziest albums ever to come to fruition.