Review Summary: Improving ever so slightly, Woe, Is Me have crafted an EP not worthy of praise, but not deserving of the hatred that its predecessor received.
Woe, Is Me have become a staple in the ever-growing world of modern metalcore music for their hopelessly derivative and just plain lazy musicianship. Ever since lineup changes resulted in the band losing all but one original member, Woe, Is Me has done nothing but release the same tired and tedious garbage that has been bestowed upon us for years by countless other groups in the genre. With their sophomore effort 'Genesi[s]' being one of the laziest and most generic albums I had ever heard from a band, I was expecting some improvement with their new EP 'American Dream'. After all, Genesi[s] was rushed, and the new members were still settling in to their positions and needed time to adjust. They've had their time, and is the new finished product any better than what Genesi[s] had to offer?
Well, kind of. Kicking off with 'Stand Up' you hear the band is still recycling riffs and blatantly ripping off others. (See Bring Me The Horizon's 'Shadow Moses') Instrumentation is slightly better with the guitar playing faster and the drums speedily blasting along. It doesn't take long however, for the song to completely change direction to complement the clean vocals of Hance Alligood. It feels sloppy, almost as if the band doesn't know how to write a chorus without poppy power chord progressions. Almost every song follows this pattern, the three songs that aren't acoustic that is. Generic riffing to open, chugs galore in the verses, power chord chorus, breakdown. It gets tedious very soon, and you'll find yourself wondering if you're just listening to the same song over and over again. After the three "heavy" songs, you're greeted with not one, but two cheesy acoustic songs featuring nothing but Hance's clean singing. I found myself wondering if I was listening to A Day To Remember with 'Fine Without You', due to the new style of singing. Neither of these songs are anything special, with their "inspirational" and "emotional" lyrics. Hance's voice isn't bad though, and even enjoyable at some points.
Lyrically Woe, Is Me haven't matured in the slightest, writing the same angst-filled, *** you *** this lyrics.
"To every mother***er
To every sorry ***
To every fake piece of ***
I'm so over it"
Some golden lyricism right there. Vocally however, the band has improved. Harsh vocalist Doriano Magliano has found his place in the band nicely, and he powerfully growls his way through most of the songs. The band also made a good decision by giving the clean vocalist much more time on the album than Doriano this time around, as his vocals can grow tiring quickly. Hance on the other hand, has finally stopped his cringe-worthy style of singing found on Genesi[s] where he emphasized almost every other word, sounding forced and just plain annoying. He gets a lot more time to show his pipes on here than he did on Genesi[s], and it's welcomed, as his singing is much more enjoyable to listen to than Doriano. Some of the best moments on this EP (of which there are few) are when Hance is commanding a chorus with his soaring cleans. His vocal performance on here doesn't save this EP from it's generic and atrocious instrumentation and lyricism though.
With 'American Dream', Woe, Is Me have released a short glimpse at improvement, but not enough to save them from their generic ways. With atrocious guitar work, immature and lazy lyrics, and TWO cheesy acoustic songs, the band is still far from anything worth listening to. Maybe with another full length the band could change, but until then, Woe, Is Me will continue to be one of the laziest and most generic bands around. Congrats guys.