Review Summary: Nostalgia, Catchiness, Emotion and Heaviness
It’s amazing how fast time goes by. It was over seven years ago that I was sitting on Myspace and stumbled upon Escape The Fate’s page. At this point in my life I proudly proclaimed that Fall Out Boy was the best band ever and (for the most part) only listened to whatever crap was spewing out of the radio. The band’s page had a large picture of the entire band across the top of the page. I found it very interesting that such a dark looking band had two girls in it (I later discovered that the picture had deceived me and that Ronnie Radke and Max Green were in fact males). The song There’s No Sympathy For The Dead began to play out of my lap top. Just before leaving the page, something stopped me. I sat and listened to the entire song. Then I played it again… and again. That same day I made my mom drive me to the local record store to buy the album. Over the years I have decided that there was one main aspect of this album that has kept me interested to this day. That aspect is the cohesion of the band members in the crafting well-structured, catchy tracks.
The album opener The Webs We Weave does a great job of introducing what Escape the Fate is all about. Upbeat vocals perfectly blend with above average guitar work and solid drumming. The band does a good job of having a bit of a dark feel in the mood of their songs but Radke’s upbeat vocals bump the mood a little bit happier. The band does a phenomenal job switching between soaring upbeat choruses and dark, screamed bridges and verses without sounding awkward. Songs that run in a similar vein are Chariot of Fire, The Guillotine, There’s No Sympathy and My Apocalypse. All of these tracks are able to stand on their own and each has its own flare that makes them memorable and interesting. For example, one memorable part on the album comes after the screaming and guitar filled bridge of The Webs We Weave. The instrumentation suddenly cuts out and Radke is left alone singing the soaring chorus of the song. Escape the Fate was able to prove their ability to write heavy and interesting songs while still being catchy and accessible.
While songs that were just listed were all very similar in style to their initial EP (There’s No Sympathy and The Guillotine were on it), Escape the Fate tone down the heaviness on several tracks. This may have been an attempt to broaden the bands fan base but regardless of their motives, the music produced works. This is mostly seen in the song Situations. In these more pop heavy songs, Radke’s vocals are put on really strong and blend perfectly with the instrumentation. The result is several infectiously catchy tracks that while not as high achieving as there heavier work, provides some needed variety to their catalogue and makes the album much more interesting. Songs similar to Situations less heavy style include Reverse This Curse, Friends and Alibis and Not Good Enough.
Radke’s singing and screaming are the crown on top of the song. There is something in Radke’s voice that just seems sincere, innocent and powerful all at the same time. His lyrics and vocals are able to evoke the type of angsty emotions that just can’t be classified. His powerful, raw screams are used the perfect amount and only at the right times. In fact nothing on the album will make you ask, “Why did they include this"” or “This seems out of place”. Radke is obviously the highlight of the album and I wish he had been completely unaware of this because his ego has obviously been inflated a bit too much.
The guitar work throughout the album also deserves a tip of the hat. Monte does a phenomenal job especially in the song My Apocalypse that really brings his skills to the forefront. His guitar solos in both There’s No Sympathy For The Dead and The Guillotine are top notch as well and are placed perfectly into the song. Nowadays he’s really the only redeeming quality of what remains of Escape The Fate.
Well these times for the band are long gone. Escape The Fate is down to having only two original members and has proved that they will probably never live up to this album. Ronnie Radke has allowed this album to blow his ego over the top and has decided that what the music industry needs now is “A white boy on the beat rockin’ Gucci sneaks”. Despite all that has occurred since its release, this album is still to this day worth a listen and does a great job of balancing heaviness with catchiness.
Songs I still listen to from time to time:
There’s No Sympathy For the Dead
Friends and Alibis
Not Good Enough For Truth in Cliche