Review Summary: I miss the Misery.
As a fairly big fan of The Amity Affliction, I was pretty pleased with the singles released in preparation for this new album. “All My Friends Are Dead” was a return to a heavy form after the experimental, although great, Misery
. “Soak Me in Bleach” brought one of the catchiest choruses they’ve ever laid down, and “Catatonia” was a great mix of both of those elements. With all of those singles plus the teaser of the very heavy (perhaps the heaviest thing Amity has ever done) intro track, “Coffin”, this album was shaping up to be a return to the Let the Ocean Take Me
era with maybe a flare of This Could Be Heartbreak
. An album which, while flawed, has many good songs and cool ideas. Unfortunately, what we got with the remainder of Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them
, is the cringey parts of Misery
combined with all the worst parts of This Could Be Heartbreak
Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them
is not a good album. To be clear, there are good songs. For the most part, the aforementioned singles all hold up within the context of the album. Track four, “All I Do is Sink” introduces a really fun instrumental style with bouncy palm muted chugging riffs. Though this isn’t anything new or groundbreaking, it definitely is fun and the chorus is undeniably catchy. Unfortunately, this is really all that the album has to offer after this point (aside from “Catatonia”, which is the closing track). The rest of this album is full of corny moments, which, to be fair, is kind of what Amity has done best for a while now. Joel’s lyrics have always been a bit run of the mill or a bit cringe-worthy (“Hey death, get ***ed!
” - “The truth is that I’m all ***ed up like you, yeah we’re all ***ed up its true
”). The difference is, in the past, that they were backed up by great songs (okay “All ***ed Up” is an awful song, but the point is made). Ahren’s ear-worm choruses and the fun breakdowns made up a really strong and great discography.
There is a heavy lack of great choruses on this record, which is what The Amity Affliction has always done best. Track five, “Baltimore Rain”, has a chorus which includes the line “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em
” about five too many times and then proceeds to include an actual sound of lighting up and inhaling a joint. Take that as you will. “Aloneliness” (let’s not even start with the track title) is so forgettable that practically the only thing that I can recall to talk about is the awfully obvious pitch-correction on Joel’s singing. “Forever” is a decent song with a fairly catchy chorus, but suffers from being average, forgettable, and painfully nondescript. “Born to Lose” has a decent heavy riff and breakdown, but it's almost as if they thought they could just put a mild dose of those elements in the mix and it would prevent people from noticing it isn’t a very good song. “Fever Dream” is the final song before the fiery closer, “Catatonia”, and it generally contains the same attributes that have been said about the rest of this record. It has a decent chorus, but not enough to make it stick in your head, although there is a guitar solo towards the end which admittedly adds a nice flair to lead into the final chorus, maybe giving it that last kick of memorableness.
The major problem with this record is averageness. The good songs are good, but not enough to make up for the simply poor, boring and forgettable tracks making up the majority of this album. Most of my dislike of this record stems from frustration with the fact that I know they can do better as well as frustration with how typical the songwriting is. The Amity Affliction has tried to switch it up in the past, and I believe that it really worked with Misery
. There were explosive choruses, insanely catchy electronic bits, and heavy sections when they worked. Joel Birch expressed in an interview that they felt that they went “too far” with Misery
, and that they were going to go back to their earlier albums style a-la Let the Ocean Take Me
. The problem is, that formula became extremely stale with This Could Be Heartbreak
, making it their worst album, and going back to that formula on this record did not do them any good. Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them
is The Amity Affliction’s worst record due to painful averageness and the most bland songwriting in modern metalcore.