Review Summary: For some kind of reason, Aiden have suffered some kind of hate for the most part of their career. Their latest release is the finest example to date of why this negativity makes no sense
I really don't get all the dislike that has plagued Aiden - sure, the lead vocalist's voice sounds odd at first, and as individuals the musicianship isn't exactly special, but they're not a poor band by a long stretch; allow me to explain this. They remind me a little of The Pigeon Detective's earlier work (talent-wise) where, although being as mediocre as it got, the mixture of it all just worked so well that it produced above average music. This is true of Aiden: once you're accustomed to William Control's vocal style it's not irritating at all, it's fresh and unique in a positive manner; while none of the band members show rampaging talent on their instruments, they have a definite monopolisation of their tools that comes together effectively, and alongside superb production from Control himself, it sounds very decent indeed. This has been true of all of their records and 2011's Some Kind of Hate
is no different.
Aiden have had an ever growing and evolving sound that I believe to be a crucial trait for a band to have in the ever-increasing generic stagnancy of the punk/horror punk/post-hardcore genres, and the fact that I cannot specify one particular genre for them is in itself a showcase of the growth they adopt. Some Kind of Hate
has appeared completely out of nowhere this year, as it was only March that they released Disguises
was their most post-hardcore entry to date - Some Kind of Hate
, as William's note in the liner notes of the lyric booklet says, "is a record that encompasses everything we have been enduring these last few years" - this album combines all the things they've done thus far yet retains a freshness to it all by ensuring that they only draw on their most successful aspects.
There are a lot of good hooks featured here, best shown on opening trio There Will Be Blood
, Broken Bones
, Irony In the Shadows
, and then Freedom From Religion
. Some tracks are purely fun (hear Grotesque Vanity
); I'm not sure what he's actually going on about in this, intriguing as the lyrics may be. There are some amusing samples on the track and Control does sound truly wicked when he laughs as the song closes. I think Aiden's biggest problem is that people are trying to look too hard into them to find a core of brilliance - whereas if they just listened with a laid-back open mind, they'd find that Aiden's music is simply enjoyable; perhaps insightful at best. This is what Aiden are, and it's what they want to be, so at the end of the day it's purely down to varied tastes in music as to whether you like it or you don't - NOT
whether Aiden are a poor band or not. Diddy-Dirty Money's Last Train to Paris
last year was a strongly-crafted album, I just personally didn't enjoy it. That doesn't make it a bad album, nor them a bad group.
And on that note, something that Some Kind of Hate
strives to do is introduce a more well-rounded appealing sound - something that it succeeds in doing. For example, the album features worthy performances covering classics London Dungeon
by Misfits and Transmission
by Joy Divison; these songs are placed well on the record to break up Aiden's more furious personal style, and add a nice touch of classic rock/punk to keep the duration a refreshing endeavour. Therefore this is a record that I believe will transcend past efforts in critical reception, and the main reason it could be slated is because people seem to gather feuds against certain bands that blind any possibility of said band's reconciliation (yes, this largely applies to sputnik's users).
Some Kind of Hate
pulls in at 28 minutes - exlcuding the cover tracks, it's 22 minutes worth of new material spread across 8 tracks. This isn't surprising when you remember that the last album came out a mere 7 months ago. The upside of the short duration is that it doesn't ever risk outstaying its welcome (which I believe to be a finer trait of Aiden, they are consistent in not overloading us).
Although some of the lyrical content is controversial (just observe the title Freedom From Religion
, could it be any more obvious?), it's not officious, and merely presents to you a view for consideration - as opposed to shoving it down your throat and and trying to impose it onto you by implying 'our view is right, and if your opinion differs from ours, then yours is wrong'. This is a problem that has thankfully been smoothed out that made past tracks such as Crusifiction
) and Hysteria
) difficult for me to listen to. Nobody likes to feel oppressed by someone else's opinion, which is ironic because those songs were actually about being free from the tyranny of other people's beliefs; so it's nice to see that Control has sorted this out now. There's also less swearing for the sake of being profane here, which is a welcome lyrical transition.
It's not a classic album but it's definitely a notable milestone for Aiden, employing and re-working their best parts: samples provide a smooth transition/interlude within or bookcasing songs without being over-used; tracks are fast and furious just like punk should be; Control's new harsh/shouted vocals as seen on Disguises
are used sparingly and thus are more enjoyable when utilised; his overall vocals have kept improving to a better standard; gang vocals are not overdone and will go down well live; lyrically it's no John Keats or Tennessee Williams but as per usual there is a deeper societal awareness that the majority of bands are incapable of.
Production - 5/5
Sounds fine, no problems with how it has been produced, clear production
Lyrics - 3/5
Decent and interesting, different from the usual lovesick lyrics that plague most of music
Sound - 4/5
All the best bits of Aiden jammin' as one
Replay value - 4/5
Stems from Aiden's ability to write catchy and memorable hooks
• There Will Be Blood
• Broken Bones
• Grotesque Vanity
• Freedom From Religion
If you've hated Aiden before, I implore you to listen to this album with an open mind; forget what they have done in the past, and take this as an independent release. I can't force you to like something, and neither would I want to, but this is a worthy record that is a highlight in Aiden's discography and shouldn't be missed. To understand just what Aiden have done to revitalise themselves you'll have to hear it for yourself, and so you certainly should.