Review Summary: The circus has come to town, and it's demented as fuck
Every so often a band comes along looking to replicate the success of theatrical influenced acts such as My Chemical Romance (Post-Three Cheers), Panic! At The Disco and Crown the Empire to limited or no success; The Illustrator shatters all preconceived notions of being a gimmicky knock-off with a fiery and intense debut EP that's frankly, really damn fun.
Instantly the noticeable aura surrounding the album is it's twisted nature, whether it be from the blaring horns or the frantic keyboard spasms this album is fast paced and chaotic with occasionally unexpected tempo changes to add to the frenzy. Ironically out of all the non-keyboard instrumentals, the bass shines the brightest on this album; looking at the opening track "Dr. Heckle and Mr. Slye" which follows up its minute long ballad-like creepy intro with a bouncing bass-line to compliment the vocalist's strong pipes. The guitar arrangements are catchy with the focus being crafting infectious melodies rather than intricacy and the drums keep up nicely.
The vocals are some of the best in the genre, being reminiscent of combination of a lower pitched Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance) and Andy Leo (of Crown the Empire). He hits multiple notes and isn't just stuck in his tenor voice as he frequently hits baritone levels as well. The screams are a very sparsely used aspect of the EP but when used they always help to compliment the song and add variety, which this release has no shortage of. What makes his performance even more enjoyable is the fact that he seems to be having the time of his life, frequently bursting into fits of laughter and speeding up his singing without warning to throw off the listener.
In short, The Illustrator have put out an unexpectedly fantastic debut EP and show an unreal level of potential. All that needs to be done is to expand even deeper into the theatrical sound they've embraced here and give even more of a personal flair to the songs to really come into their own; until then, "A Tale of Modern Theatrics" will satisfy repeated listens with its energetic and crazy atmosphere.