Review Summary: Holy Peanut Butter, Jelly is an abomination (In the Shadow of If-I-had-staff-powers-I-would-have-given-this-a-3.7)3.7/5
I never really understood the appeal of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I mean, who even thought about combining these two? There’s no synergy between them. Not that I don’t mind when people make me a sandwich (unless it has tomato in it, that’s just downright gross), since I just proceed to take the peanut butter part and eat it; however, me, being the absolute klutz that I am, ended up smearing some peanut butter over my iPhone screen. And there it was, right as my iPhone got synchronized with my computer, 8:18
. I forgot I had gotten it. Jackpot, I guess?
I gave the album a listen as my first wholesome TDWP album, as I had only heard their singles until then. And the first things everybody and their grandma will notice are Mike Hranica’s screams, or the lack of them. Hranica wheezes, yells and growls his way through the album but it’s clear from the very first track, Gloom
, that he isn’t able to scream his lungs out like before. Take the ending of both tracks, War
. He does (read: tries) his best to finish these songs on a sustained scream, but it simply comes out as wheezy as me after smoking 1 cigarette and as awkward as meeting your mother’s new boyfriend. It just isn’t right.
And you might ask yourself, what are the positives on this album? As Mike here screams his way through 80% of the album’s length. Well, let me tell you, everything else. It’s on insanely good tracks like Care More
, which could easily be the best track TDWP has ever done, that the band shines as bright as tin foil hats. It’s quite an electronically drenched affair, with clean singer Jeremy DePoyster slightly drowned while backed up with subtle instrumentation. It also features one of the best performances of the screamer, with him coming halfway through the length to great effect. It’s songs like these, the Underoath-esque 8:18
and Sailor’s Prayer
(one of the heavier cuts of the album, possessing a great fade-out) that shows how much TDWP has improved since their Dear Love days.
And while Hranica might be the weakest link here, Jeremy absolutely carries the band, with the soaring chorus of First Sight
showing his greatly-improved clean singing. Instrumentation has never been big on the group (‘cept for the crazy chugs) and here’s mostly the same matter, and while the album has its fair deal of chugga-chugga (i.e. Rumors
) Williams, Trick and Rubey assume a subtle approach of not-really-showing-off, taking a backseat to the singing and the (used to great effect here) synth.
The Devil Wears Prada has the potential to be one of the better bands of the “scene” right now, showing an improvement over their past record, and while they still need to work out some stuff (I’m looking at you, Hranica), 8:18
is their best work to date, and (hopefully) a sign of better things to come from the group. Now if somebody could tell me how I also apparently got Holy Wood (the Manson album) and why is it right above 8:18
, you know, despite my albums being organized alphabetically, that’d be great.