Review Summary: A day late and a dream short
When a band releases a self-titled record that is not their debut, a tacit statement is made about the content therein. Is it a reinvention? A statement of the band at the peak of their game? An affirmation of their sonic identity? The release of this album comes after their longest interval to date and news of their departure from Rise, so it would be safe to presume that the release is the band back on top form, re-invigorated, with fresh ideas and mountains of energy. The sad truth is, the use of their band name as an album title seems to hint at a group going through the motions, or simply feeling so uncreative they didn't want to expend any additional effort coming up with a new title. Touting the same brand of metalcore with a post-hardcore paintjob that bands like I, The Breather, The Word Alive and Blessthefall (amongst countless others) were peddling during the 2000s, you'd be forgiven for expecting For The Fallen Dreams might have updated or at least slightly retooled their style at all during their 7-album career, or at least evolved a little, especially considering that they are now under the wing of a new label. The good news is, the sound is well-produced and appropriately catchy where it needs to be, with this latest offering being a another nostalgic slice of accessible pop-metal. The bad news is, the aesthetic feels especially outdated. More so than ever before, in fact. The soaring choruses don't capture the imagination in the way that they ought to, and the simplistic chugalug of the verse passages lack any real development or creativity. Moreover, the contrast of the metal and the light rock sensibilities is woefully off-balance, like two opposing magnets being violently smashed together and held in place with sticky tape.
Conforming largely to the typical song structure of bands of this ilk (verse, chorus, verse, chorus, breakdown, outro chorus), this self-titled full-length is at least predictably inoffensive. Some cuts, such as 'Last One Out' and 'Sulfate' have appealingly catchy choruses and agreeable metalcore crunch that elevate the expectations a touch, but there are no moments of grand surprise or genuine hooks that draw the listener into the tried-and-tested metallic soup. The riffs lack punch and even the double bass kicks and aggressive sidesteps into the breakdowns don't feel powerful enough to retain interest. Of course, the album has its slower, more emotionally driven aspects that feel expressive enough, albeit in a hackneyed way, but these instances flagrantly recycle musical movements within the tracks without expanding or furthering upon the foundations of the song itself. The fleeting solo on 'Without You', one of the aforementioned slower songs, serves to break up this mundanity, but also draws attention to the repetition in the process, being sandwiched between two reused halves. It feels bland, and devoid of any real effort. 'Searching...' attempts to converge these vibes with a more spoken-word delivery in the verses, a catchy chorus and a stroppy breakdown that is heavier than anything else the album has to offer. The merger actually works and it is the choicest cut on the album, simply because it displays clear musical development. The more anthemic, shouty moments on the release do exhibit urgency in their pounding simplicity, but do very little other than continue to tread the waters of the genre's more stagnant tropes. 'Testify', with its quasi-rousing shout-along passages starts off relatively strong, but lapses into generic tendencies very quickly, with a banal tune and a breakdown that is much too brief.
The consistent re-utilisation of uplifting chorus vocals and heavier verses quickly becomes wearing as the release progresses, and the tone, which can't seem to decide whether it's shooting for pop rock or metalcore, feels jarring in its wobbly balancing act. 'No Heaven' for example, with its horrendously twee lyrics and absurdly OTT cleans has the feel of a radio-friendly chart entry, yet the aggressive bridges and their attempted metal thunder contest this and railroad the song into a fiddly and embarrassingly coarse halfway point between the two. The band has had issues with this awkwardness before, but it has become exponentially worse as their career has progressed and they have attempted to lean harder into the more accessible side of their sound. Their debut 'Changes' was their best display of equilibrium between the two aspects, as it allowed the more melodic facets to serve the indignation of the metalcore, which was far more prominent. It was nothing groundbreaking, but it was a solid album and a worthy entry into the metalcore/ post-hardcore canon of the day. With their self-titled, however, the overbearing sense of fragmentation within their sound works against the attempted melody and aggression; as a result, neither element works in any kind of synchronicity. Whilst it is not insufferable, it is certainly lacking in character and flair, peddling an out-of-style brand of metalcore that doesn't afford the band any room to show their true colours, instead opting for an incredibly insular sound that feels hugely underdeveloped, and stifled by the off-balance songwriting.
Album Rating: 2.0
Lowkey miss the era when this kind of sound was popping, more for the nostalgia factor than anything else. This record, on the other hand, is not great.
band has like 1 or 2 good songs on their debut which are knock off misery signals tracks and everything after has been pretty dire
Nice review Pump, I heard a couple singles from this and it made me want to steer clear. It really sounds like the most streamlined version of this era of metalcore/nu-metal/post-hardcore drivel.
these guys have been around since 2003 and had like 20 different members.
i think the lead guitarist is the only one who has been a constant member
i would have just started a new band under a new name at some point
In b4 Pump is staff
Album Rating: 2.0
Can’t say I’ve ever made the misery signals comparison before but it seems very appropriate now I think about it.
Cheers mk, streamlined drivel definitely covers it.
And loool pizza. Love you buddy
Very nice review. The nu-metal sound is a little too prevalent for my liking. This isn’t the direction I was hoping for at all.
'Can’t say I’ve ever made the misery signals comparison before but it seems very appropriate now I think about it.'
cant say how accurate it is for most of their discography but their first lp really really reminds me of mis sigs
lots of brightl melodic guitar leads and chugga chugga bits
Album Rating: 2.0
Great review. Refer to hotsoap's soundoff for my thoughts on this album.
Changes and Relentless will always be the true FTFD, not whatever this Octanecore garbage is. Only highlight here is the chorus of Last One Out and maybe Without You I guess. Chad shouldn't be rapping on a FTFD album...
I cannot for the life of me figure out why this band didn’t break up after changes
Album Rating: 2.0
Well deserved feature brother
Fuck this band
Album Rating: 2.0
Thanks Jay, appreciate that a lot
And thank you spec!
Revisited the have farts album and it’s the most 2.5 sounding core record I’ve jammed in years
This band was always cheese
"cant say how accurate it is for most of their discography but their first lp really really reminds me of mis sigs
lots of brightl melodic guitar leads and chugga chugga bits"
A lot of our favorite metalcore bands of this era were heavily influenced by Mis Sigs. Some of them just bit the style and had absolutely nothing else to add. Their best Mis Sigs bites are buried by other samey less good Mis Sigs bites. It's why all of their early albums feel so thin and uninspired. Getting through an entire FTFD album without getting bored is difficult.
i always thought of their original sound as like bury your dead playing mis sigs songs lol. first 2 albums had some fun tracks, and the first album with chad returning too. after that they really been kind of ass, basically radio post-grunge with some chugs at this point
Album Rating: 2.5
This album went from mediocre but catchy to straight up offensive once I heard Chad rapping. I really can't tell what he was trying to go for there, but it made my skin crawl a little. I grew up on Linkin Park so rapping in rock/metal doesn't inherently bother me, just the execution here was awful. Aside from that, there's a complete and utter lack of good riffs here... the whole record just sounds phoned in. Like it's catchy and I wouldn't mind hearing it played on a radio at a store, but I honestly can't remember a single song after listening to the album twice.
I'm not even a FTFD purist, like I've enjoyed every album they've put out prior to this one. Changes and Relentless were my favorites, Backburner was a lot of fun, Wasted Youth was hit or miss but had a few songs I liked, Heavy Hearts felt like a return to form, and Six was a good evolution of the old and new.
This was recommended on new releases and it's sounds like a bad choice of melting pot bands
Album Rating: 4.0
I don’t comment much on here… but just wanted to say I disagree with most people on this album. I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. I felt the change of sound was needed, their last few albums have been pretty boring, especially after Andrew left the band. The nostalgic nu-metal/alt rock parts were a great change of pace, and the choruses have been in my head since it was released. I guess I’m in the minority here lol.