I See Stars



by Bitstream USER (21 Reviews)
April 21st, 2009 | 104 replies

Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Straying from gimmicky (but plunging into generic), I See Stars delivers the fun in a rather short but packed CD.

One of the best parts about music is evolution. Back up a decade or two and you’ll find, for the most part, simplicity being the recipe for success. As technology and music taste changed, so did the music itself. Turn on your radio to any ‘top 100 hits’ channel and you’ll find vocoded-to-death half assed attempts at emotion. More commonly, find men (And quite often women) who sound like they have their balls in a SAW-esque trap, slowly constricting them as iffy pitches are snapped into place by uninventive synth loops. Although it isn’t a new trick to merge that into hardcore, I See Stars manage to pull it off inventively with their first full length, and keep the fun rolling.

In most of today’s metalcore, adding synth pads to the background isn’t exactly groundbreaking (cough Devil Wears Prada cough), but I See Stars manages to surpass the gimmicky image electronicore has come to earn as they do what most music should do, and that’s keep it fun. Mixing watered down metalcore drums with electro beats, dissonant guitar chords with infectious leads, and poppy synths give the songs excellent flow and something to set them apart. While the boring chug-chug breakdowns bring down the overall creativity of the band, it’s one of the few ties they retain to the harder direction they were headed.

While the music on its own is good, the real definition of the band comes from the charismatic performance of the vocalist. Devin flows in and out of vocoded glory to ‘exploring his natural voice’ in a way that is beneficial to the music, not just for the sake of it. The keyboardists screams are also enjoyable, not taking away from the experience or performance a la Attack! Attack! or other bands of that nature. While the electronic vocals may be considered cheating or a put off to some listeners, it fits in the context of their music and is a welcome definition that compliments their otherwise generic sound.

The lyrics are fairly unimaginative, but compared to most bands, they’re deep as the Koran. With good delivery, the vocal performance leads most the songs, except the so far unmentioned instrumental interlude “The Ocean”, which is one of the greatest tracks on this record.

“I know you didn't mean this
As far as I know
Dream of me, fear of waking, sense of closeness
Goes to show

Your looking for love in all the wrong places
Seeing empty faces, awkward situations
Everything you said was a lie
Who are you pretending to be tonight”

While most of the songs fit into a near pop-core category, there are a few stand outs like the roller coasters of “Save The Cheerleader, Save The World” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, and the song “Sing This!” remains a stand out just for the sheer annoyance and lack of necessity for it on an otherwise enjoyable album. Most of the songs unfortunately blend together, and with the short length of the album it’s a shame they didn’t expand or pull out a few more tricks. In the end, they craft a fun, enjoyable record that is quite love-hate. While not ground breaking, I See Stars pulls out everything the crowd wants to hear, even if that ends up being a bad idea. (Once again, “Sing This!”)

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user ratings (544)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • bbdmittenz (3)
    I See Stars provides a little bit of breathing room for the Post-Hardcore community, and d...

    metalheadrunner (3.5)
    A guilty pleasure, perhaps....

    DropdeadWHA (3)
    I See Stars deliver a good debut effort while sticking to the usual formula....

    xTevinx (4)
    A Skylit Drive have some younger rivals....

  • chiggles (3.5)
    I See Stars makes an attempt to bring back fun and catchy post hrdcore/techno, and they re...

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 21st 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

For some reason, I put a lot of praise in there. Oh well. Comes off fan-boyish, but to be honest, this isn't anything too amazing.

April 21st 2009


They do absolutely everything but stray from gimmicky...

April 22nd 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

I meant only with the synths. Well... Hmm. Generic. But it's not gimmicky synths. I don't know.

April 22nd 2009


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I could swear that the synth melody in "The Big Bad Wolf" after the break down was taken from one of the first sonic the hedgehog games on the sega genesis. And i agree, "Sing This!" is not very good. I cant even understand Busy Bone's lyrics. Whoever he is... Its hard to be a gangster when you have near Disney music backing you. Generic dance songs are to electro-core as slow acoustic songs are to rock.

April 22nd 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

The members of the band are all cute.

April 22nd 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

In scene, that's almost a necessity unless you have 4 feet long hair.

April 22nd 2009


Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

"when the power of love

exceeds the love for power

the world will finally know peace"

-best line in the song 3D, only bad song sing this

This Message Edited On 04.22.09This Message Edited On 04.22.09

May 4th 2009


haha, Sing This has some very fast rapping in it.

Digging: Flotsam and Jetsam - Doomsday for the Deceiver

May 7th 2009


this album was pretty good to be like electro its really catchyy and the screams are nice

May 19th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

Production is poor, quite harsh to listen to. The songs themselves have moments of decency, but for the most part are poorly constructed and layered with annoying synth patches and artificial drum sounds. Far too much autotune on the vocals makes it difficult to connect with the vocals, though occasionally it is used creatively. The lyrics are poor at best, a plethora of lifeless metaphors about teenage heartbreak, the occasional attempt at something profound comes off barely thought provoking. If there's anything original about this band, its they combine almost everything trendy (not to mention awful) about music right now into one band.

Having said that, the band is very, very young and do show moments of promise, maybe within a few more releases (along with dropping the autotune, uninspired "breakdowns", and finding better synth sounds) they'll have something worthwhile

June 12th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

The singer doesn't scream...

June 14th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

They bring something new to the whole electronica thing. And they are 16-19 which means they have alot of potential. Solid first release

June 18th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

This is a very fun album, these guys may not be that original or inspired, but the music is a good time. Project Wake Up and The Common Hours are far and away the best songs on this album, both of those are worth downloading in case you're even in the mood for that sort of thing.

Anyway, for a debut album from guys who are still in high school, 2 good songs, 7 alright songs, and 2 awful songs isn't half bad.

Although I think some of the guys in Architects were still 17 when they recorded Nightmares, so maybe I should raise my standards for young bands a little.

June 23rd 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

For such a young band this album is excellent, however the production is pretty sloppy, this album's definitely been on repeat. Good review too.

June 24th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. The new thing is production is a big sloppy mess. I don't understand it. Like Oceana, Of Machines, I See Stars, etc. This little sub-genre of metal-ishcore.

August 23rd 2009


Album Rating: 2.0

Album is like a 200x better version if Attack Attack's effort.

August 24th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

what dougie said

this is attack attack done right

August 24th 2009


Album Rating: 2.0

But still not great.

August 24th 2009


Album Rating: 2.0

But its a hell of a load of fun!

August 24th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

not great, but take into account that attack attack is really really bad

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