From Autumn to Ashes. For a lot of people the band is a love/hate thing, and especially this album (at least that's the impression I get). This is the second full length release by the band, after their debut "Too bad your beautiful".
Some general impressions:
The most noticable thing about this record is that it fits quite well into the 'screamed verse, melodic chorus' department, which got big in the mainstream so to say in the last months/years. This seperation is present on almost all songs. Not on many occasions a chorus or verse is done with both vocal styles, only on three songs or so the screaming is completely dropped ('No Trivia' for example). The screamed parts are ok IMO, and the melodic parts are as well. I can understand though why people don't like the drummer's singing (doing the melodic parts), as his singing voice is very 'whiny' and nasal. On the instrumental side, all band members work as a good unit and compement each other good. But it's not really impressive work (more on that further down).
I once read in an interview that Ben Perrie (the screaming guy) writes about past problems in his songs to "maybe prevent the listener from doing the same mistake with the same bad outcome". That sets it quite straight regarding lyrical content. Relationships, decisions with bad outcomes, all the stuff many people would label with the three-lettered "E" word. For sure not everybodys cup of tea. The mood of the songs is set to something between anger and desperation/suffering.
Good and Bad:
The stuff is musically more or less to the point. Songs like 'The After Dinner Payback' or 'Miligram Smile' go straight forward, simple and effective. A bit of nice variation comes with the use of acoustic guitar in parts of the songs (and in the case of 'The fiction we live' and 'Autumns monologue' on the complete song) and underlining with piano parts.That's only a small part of the whole thing though. The changing of different song parts and paces is nice as well.
But the overall work is very similar on all songs. Especially if you look into what the bass plays. If you know how to play one song, you can play all others to about 95%. The chords and notes are most of the time the same on all songs, only played a bit diffeerently regarding speed etc. The guitar leads fit, but are pretty simple. Nothing really exciting here, rather average work IMO. So don't expect any big suprises or outstanding instrumental work. You'll have to lookm somewhere else for that.
Still, an ok package.
Like I said in the first part of the review, this is a more or less love/hate record and band. The ones that don't like it say the band plays uninspired and bad stuff with whiny lyrics. Those who like the band think of the lyrics as filled with emotion they can relate to, acompanied by a fitting instrumental work. Whatever way one wants to see it, they play their stuff ok. No one on this record is overly outstanding in what he does. Neither the instrumentalist nor the singers. But put together they have some good moments,
This is a good catch for people who like to listen to more catchy stuff, and seek something that is a bit harder then their average stuff I guess. Or maybe a nice filler for a few listens every now and then. but for someone seeking oustanding aspects of music, this won't really be the thing. So I guess the record deserves a place in the average rating region.
Final rating: 2.5 - 3/5
The After Dinner Payback, Miligram Smile, Alive out of habit