It is quite funny what can strike your ear at a certain time of day and how for some reason you can hear a band’s name for so long without hearing an actual song by them. Yes Eighteen Visions
is a name I have heard tossed around by plenty, yet for so long their sound was a mystery for me. Well one night I heard the single off of their new self titled album. Nothing struck me as amazing, far from it, but for some particular reason the chorus stayed in my head. I figured checking the album out in its entirety would not be a horrible idea which, in fact maintained its truth. Now I am no Eighteen Visions
expert by any means, but from what the chatter I have overheard it seems as though the band has changed up their sound quite a bit over the years. All of that aside, their current sound often resembles something that you will hear on the radio at around 11 at clock at night and forget about by the time you are asleep.
This is far from the worst album I have heard in my life; painfully average sounds about right, hence the comparison to the late night radio airwaves. Things sound far too safe throughout the record as tracks seems to sound quite similar without a whole lot of variety to them. There are some softer elements present which add a nice touch yet it seems the band sticks strictly to three formulas; soft, heavy, or a mix. While it is quite possible to do this and achieve variety, Eighteen Visions
does not. It seems that any given song is either A, B, or C, similar to an annoying calculus formula. Before things get too carried away, comparisons to a calculus formula would be far too advanced for the album, so let’s just call it algebra for now. Things are way too risk-free throughout, as it seems the band wants so badly to be accepted by the mainstream. Truth be told listeners will be appalled in some situations when they discover there are five members present of the band. Two guitars are heard on about half of the album, as chords are used regularly. When riffs come out they are usually fairly average in sound, not quite bland but far from incredible. The melodic lines in the softer tunes often come off more effective than the riffs. Breakdowns however seem extremely forced in many cases, similar to a constipated man disposing his waste devoid of his daily exlax. A pleasing aspect found in the guitar work save from the brief melodic work would be the pinch harmonics, which have quite the tasteful placement the few times they are revealed. Drums are far from blazing fast, but still switch up patterns every now and than. Bass is extremely difficult to hear in the mix, especially with the overall production sound. The treble and bass levels are quite low production wise, as things are moderately smooth. Vocal wise the album is quite easy to digest, despite the basic range. The bottom line is that despite the little pet peeves and complaints, the overall sound is listenable at least.
While the album is listenable and easy on the ears, it is almost a bit too effortless to digest. The result of this is a strong lacking of memorable moments. A general sense of repetitiveness also contributes to this as things do begin to blend together as the record goes on. Quite the weird effect is in play, as rarely does the record make the listener pull their hair out in frustration. There is no extremely big aspect which makes this record a tripe. At the same time there is not real reason to jump for joy, as things are merely average. In general the sound of the record is a bit of a darker tone. Fear not, as it is not an attempt at a faux-goth project, the band’s clothing of choice and the music they create are two completely different things. There are some pop punk elements as well as hardcore and punk traits present but for the most part none overpower one another. The softer guitar parts hint at an alternative influence, which in turn add to the most successful sounds of the album. Plenty of times the clean guitar melodies are much more pleasing than the heavier progressions, as the melodic tunes sound well put together and work very well over the rhythm; seemingly dual guitarist awareness increases as the distortion level decreases. While the instrumentals are improved in that case, the singing is a better fit when the band is playing at a slightly heavier level. Regardless of the situation, songs are at very least listenable as the only real negative trait is the generally cautious and conservative nature to them. Clearly the band is not interested in taking any big risks, as this is evident throughout the album’s entirety and its aim for mainstream acceptance.
In our modern day world, there is never a shortage of music. We all know this is the case, as listeners have a lot to choose from. With all of that out there why settle for only average? If that is what you have in mind look no further than Eighteen Visions
and their self titled recorded. This is nothing more than standard radio friendly alternative rock with a few surprises here and there. Things are listenable, but it can seem quite atypical to remember a specific moment let alone an entire song off of the album. The mass repetition makes things become a tad tedious towards the closure of the record and by that point one will have realized the album is not progressing in any diverse direction. It seems as though there is indeed a point in which an album is a bit too easy to digest and to take in. While things are solid, boldly convincing aspects are difficult to come across and the generally simplistic and safe nature of the record makes it as listenable as it is forgettable.
Final Rating: 2.5/5