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Issues - Issues Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 2.75
Musicianship 2.75
Lyrics 2.75
Production 2.75
Creativity 2.75
Lasting Value 2.75
Reviewer Tilt 2.75
Final Verdict: 28%
Member Ratings
Vocals 3.63
Musicianship 1.63
Lyrics 2.63
Production 4.13
Creativity 2.63
Lasting Value 2.63
Reviewer Tilt 3.13
Average: 29%
Inside AP.net

Issues - Issues

Reviewed by: Vance Mook (02/14/14)
Issues - Issues
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: February 18, 2014

Somebody owes me some answers. Honestly, who can we blame for this? I know I can’t be the only one looking to point fingers.

I like to think back to 8th grade, when my first bandmate, John Krasinski, shared a copy of Attack Attack’s Somewhere Came Suddenly with me in Woodshop. And I liked it. I mean, why not? His older brother liked it. After all, up to that point, I’d only ever listened to Fall Out Boy, and this introduced me to something completely different- something that screamed at me. Looking back, I laugh- we all know “crabcore” because of “Stick Stickly”, “Bro, Ashley’s Here” is still a guilty pleasure of mine, and hey, the intro was kind of funny. Maybe Austin Carlile is to blame for this.

Let me dispel one impression you may have of me from the get-go: I am not a purist, nor am I an elitist or a snob. I like to believe that I open my ears to all styles of music before critically analyzing it, filtering through and leaving only the best to resonate with my ears on repeated listens. Alas, the “pop music” that Issues makes is not the “pop music” that Lorde or Drake made last year, nor do they contain the thought or musical ability. Instead, Issues have recorded 12 tracks and 46-minutes that I never want to play again. This album is abysmal.

From the One Direction melody that became “Mad at Myself” (“I got this old girl, I know she’s tryin’ ta play me/She’s like a Honda, these days I drive Mercedes”) to the A Day to Remember chorus-gone-wrong of closer “Disappear (Remember When)” (“Remember when I didn’t need you?/Well I need you now/To hold my head”), Issues is a blurry attempt at reviving several genres that were meant to stay dead (nu-metal, crunkcore) and force-feeding them Top 40 hooks until they throw up unnecessary electronics and autotuned vocals all over the place. Perhaps most frustrating are the individual components of the band that could work- I mean, at least on a “marketable” level. Instrumentals (like the introduction of opener “Sad Ghosts”) are ruined by wickity-wackity turntables. The massive electronic melodies of “Life of a Nine” and “Late” are begging to be played on the radio, “Never Lose Your Flame” wants to be an actual “metalcore” jam, and damnit, we want to hear Tyler Carter sing without completely suffocating his vocals with studio effects. Instead of mashing genres in a way that works, Issues is that child in the kitchen that mixes everything it can find in the cupboards and the tries feeding it to you. And you know what? You taste it…just because you feel bad.

I swear that I went into Issues with an open mind, but much like Vegas, left feeling swindled of my musical dignity, deceived by all of the lights and distraught over the poor choice I’d made. I did not take long days and sleepless nights to think of ways to put down Issues- I sincerely believe that one-key chugs and three and a half-minute electronic breakdowns like “Stingray Affliction” have no redeeming value, and because of that, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so much disappointment (scratch that- disappointment means I was expecting something good, a’la Save Rock & Roll) and motivation to write a negative review before. There is close-to-nothing that discerns Issues from their peers, aside from perhaps getting as close to Falling in Reverse as you can without being that terrible.

To quote fellow reviewer Zac Djamoos:
“This album will be fucking huge. SceneXcore kids everywhere will eat this up. They’ll write Tyler Carter lyrics all over their high-top converse. This band will play fucking Warped or something, sell a record-breaking number of copies while a band who, by comparison, is objectively better, like say The Hotelier, won’t touch that. They won’t get on any crazy tours like that. They won’t be declared the “future of” genre X.”

To quote Issues:
“Ask what I see in you/I don’t see nothin’(?), I see right through/You’re transparent, I know you don’t wanna hear it.”

And finally, to respond to a magazine that will remain unnamed:
If Issues is the future of metalcore, I gladly fold my cards now and walk away from the genre forever.

This review originally appeared over at my official website, http://fastestkidinschool.com/.

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Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10
12:07 PM on 02/17/14
#2
absintheparty9
Step back. Evaluate. Recognize.
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Haha would've much preferred to see this review on the staff list last week. I like to think that I would've dismissed a shitty album like this back when I was big into metalcore during my later high school years in 07-08, but who knows, maybe I would be eating it up if I was that age now.
12:12 PM on 02/17/14
#3
Niko John
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Awesome review.

I really like this album, but to each their own. I don't think it deserves 25%, I would give it 55-60%.

The problem I have is how so many reviewers gave this album 5 stars or 100%, calling it the future of metal. This is not the future of metal in any way, shape, or form. People are praising this way too highly because it is something "different".
01:08 PM on 02/17/14
#4
Vance Mook
Fastest Kid in School
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Haha would've much preferred to see this review on the staff list last week. I like to think that I would've dismissed a shitty album like this back when I was big into metalcore during my later high school years in 07-08, but who knows, maybe I would be eating it up if I was that age now.
Thanks- I asked myself the same question. It sucks because there are elements you can tell could have been successful, but they literally almost all fall flat due to the autotune, the wretched lyrics, etc.
01:13 PM on 02/17/14
#5
Vance Mook
Fastest Kid in School
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Awesome review.

I really like this album, but to each their own. I don't think it deserves 25%, I would give it 55-60%.

The problem I have is how so many reviewers gave this album 5 stars or 100%, calling it the future of metal. This is not the future of metal in any way, shape, or form. People are praising this way too highly because it is something "different".
Thanks a lot- I would be lying if I said reviews like that didn't in part fuel some of the things stated in the review, but as far as content and score go, both are legitimate. I find nearly no redeeming qualities in this record, between most of it being done before (slightly better) and how anything the record does do to stand out ends up being a terrible idea or mixture (beats and machine-gun guitars, DJ samples and breakdowns, even just the cleans mixed with the screaming on this record is grating).

But hey, if you can find some good in it, more power to ya!
07:34 PM on 02/17/14
#6
iamalexenglish
Aren't Kids Anymore…
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Great review man! I enjoy it but it does suck. If that makes sense hahaha
02:35 PM on 02/18/14
#7
CellarGhosts
cellarghosts.tumblr.com
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did a double take at "John Krasinski", ha. anyway, definitely a more fitting review than the staff one. this brand of metalcore needs to die out, and soon.

also I laughed at the closing sentence, knowing full well what magazine it was. even if I hadn't read the same review, I'd know it was AP. God that magazine is awful.
01:07 PM on 02/19/14
#8
Vance Mook
Fastest Kid in School
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did a double take at "John Krasinski", ha. anyway, definitely a more fitting review than the staff one. this brand of metalcore needs to die out, and soon.

also I laughed at the closing sentence, knowing full well what magazine it was. even if I hadn't read the same review, I'd know it was AP. God that magazine is awful.
I thought most people might haha thanks a lot. The saddest part is, it didn't have to be this way...I understand the importance of selling subscriptions, but there was a time when I first subscribed (end of junior high) when the issues were centered on bands like Say Anything, (older) Gym Class Heroes, Anberlin...hell, even Angels & Airwaves is miles ahead of 75% of the cover artists they've featured since 2010 or so (Breathe Carolina, Falling in Reverse, and now Issues).
02:22 PM on 02/22/14
#9
russogoat
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I saw these guys live and it was great - high energy, really got my blood flowing and I would absolutely see them again. With that said, this album is unlistenable. Something about this genre just does not translate to record - the mood is lost and the emotion sounds "generated" for lack of a better word.
01:48 PM on 03/28/14
Masuhdunkillyal
Purveyor of Palatable Punk Rock
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As much flack as this album gets, I find it highly enjoyable, despite the fact I rarely listen to metal-core or "popular" music these days.
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