Review Summary: "Issues" by Issues is plagued with issues.
Ever since Issues' inception in the wake of the frustratingly asinine bit of band drama surrounding star child Tyler Carter's sudden departure of Woe, Is Me, the band has established itself as a fun-loving, pop-hook-inclined act with an infallible sense of humor. That, and ceaseless energy. Where Woe, Is Me took themselves way
too seriously (and so they failed glamorously), Issues adopted a lighthearted attitude and continued making their brand of gimmicky but superficially enjoyable "RnBcore." Very predictably so, to a fault, Issues' newest self-titled release essentially reuses the same exact formula they've been following, except this time the audience is presented a full-length album instead of a shorter, more tolerable EP.
It's probably no surprise to musical aficionados of any level that making a full-length out of basically the same song recycled repeatedly is not a good idea in any sense of the word "good". To add to this quandary, the genre in question itself is already filled to the brim with recycled material; Issues thrives off of tired tropes, from the staggeringly inane look-at-me-I'm-hardcore guitar chugging to a high-pitched, acrobatic vocalist. Tyler Carter may be considered a powerful singing talent who shines above his contemporaries, but his already questionable songwriting abilities are very constrained here as he delivers unmemorable melody after melody, rendered even more useless as they are all the more awash in a sea of similar ones. After all, what's good about a fantastic voice if it isn't utilized well?
Tyler's inconsistent performance is certainly nothing new, and in the context of a full-length this represents a severe chink in the band's already weak "guilty-pleasure" armor; a group like Issues is anchored on its vocal hooks simply because it allows the most memorable melodic permutations, and when that fails it's really not reasonable to expect a robotic guitarist, a forgettable percussionist, a nigh invisible bassist, or an unvaried harsh vocalist to pick up the slack. Moreover, it's difficult to figure out which is more infuriating: the weakness of the album itself, or the inevitable heap of positive reception it is sure to garner due to low, over-accommodating standards. At the end of the day, Issues has presented us with more of the same, although realistically it's neither captivating nor powerful enough to have any lasting value beyond vapid and sugary immediacy. Not even touches of hip hop beats, shoddy dubstep, or weakly juvenile rap verses can save it.
"Honestly, the whole album is bonkers but also one of the most creative and genre shattering albums you will hear this, or any other, year.