Review Summary: A startling debut with moments of pure ingenuity, but immaturity lingers.
As with most people who have heard of this band, it probably started with their song "Ghost" which is a song explicitly about a botched suicide attempt. It's a song that is incredibly unapologetic in how it handles its subject matter, unafraid to speak of the grisly details that many can relate to while avoiding cliches.
That's how I would describe this record; unapologetic and grisly, but also a genuine blues and alternative rock fusion. "OK, I'M SICK" speaks of several issues that some might not be too comfortable with, but goes full throttle with them anyway. "x ANA x" speaks of addiction and anxiety, with enthusiastic vocals behind even more zany guitars and drums beating in rhythm, while a plethora of sounds flood in between whenever they can.
The album is no stranger to catchy hooks either (such as "Promise Me or "Wide Eyes") in between all the madness, with instruments that are beyond competent. Guitars, drums and all that's thrown into the mix blend almost perfectly together, especially on songs where it almost sounds like a live performance with how the guitars creak while Josh, the front man, screams into the microphone. It's nothing less than raw.
It's also shocking how well they can pull off slower songs as well, with lowered vocals keeping up with steady drum beats and gentle strumming. It's less soothing and more that it makes your skin crawl, when they speak of issues such as parental and sexual abuse.
Spots of immaturity still show, however. "Die" is an obvious jab at Donald Trump, which starts out with decent lyricism before going into a violent tirade for the rest of the song with churning instrumentals. It isn't embarrassingly immature, but it is easy to tell that a lot of rage - and the rage is completely understandable - went into it and that's what controls the song. That is more than likely the point, but it comes off as incredibly preachy while it is still musically sound.
Despite this, the album still shines as an incredible debut full length brimming with ideas that are waiting to be expanded on. While it may need to be ironed out or sat on for a while. I had to listen to this album a total of five times in order to get a true grasp of it, and it's merely a record crying out to be understood.
Top five tracks: