Review Summary: In a nutshell, ASD is a really bad record disguised as a catchy one.
Listening to this record, I found myself in quite the dilemma. At first listen, it sounded huge and indulging, as one has come to expect from A Skylit Drive. However, I started discovering a bothersome pattern around the second spin. The vocals are so loud and in focus that it makes you not notice what’s going on in the background. In a nutshell, ASD is a really bad record disguised as a catchy one.
Compared to their previous outings, ASD is dull and boring. It has nothing going for it, except for good vocals, and it seems like A Skylit Drive has played on that strength. The vocals are louder and have a stronger presence than on any of their previous efforts. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as Michael Jagmin is one hell of a talented songwriter and has delivered some really impressive vocals on this record like “Falling Apart in a (Crow)ded Room”, even if it kind of sounds like a rehash of the title track from their previous record.
The vocals are in fact so loud you can barely hear anything else, especially in the choruses. By this point, I am unsure if it’s either poor or genius producing. The vocals help hide the insanely boring drums and the fact that the record consists of more power chords than actual riffs. Now, I don’t say power chords should be forbidden as they certainly bring fourth a songs melody, but unfortunately in this case it sticks out like a sore thumb.
It seems to me that with the loss of founding members Cory La Quay and Brian White, A Skylit Drive also lost a whole lot of their personality and have forgotten what actually made them work. The vocals are as catchy as ever, but that’s about it. At the end of the day this record forces the question, can really good vocals save a song were pretty much everything else sounds uninspired, generic and painfully bland" My answer is no. This is a bad record; there is just no getting around it. Every song sounds like they were written to supplement the vocals and not the other way around.
The drums are painfully straight forward and in most cases sound like a default drum loop from Garage Band. That sounds incredibly harsh, but it’s the truth. This albums one and only saving grace is Jagmin, whom is also probably the sole reason A Skylit Drive still exists.
Seeing how Cory La Quay and Brian White lest the band the same year this record was released, there is only one conclusion: the train wreck that is ASD was caused by rushing and forcing it. Now I get that it’s been two years since they released their last album and they were probably eager to get back on the road and stay relevant, but if A Skylit Drive ever hopes to become relevant again they have to do better than this. It’s time to go back to the drawing table and figure out what works and what doesn’t work, because this sure as hell doesn’t.