Album Review
Akissforjersey - Victims Album Cover

Akissforjersey - Victims

Reviewed by
Akissforjersey - Victims
Record Label: Tragic Hero Records
Release Date: May 6, 2008
To those of us who truly enjoy music because of the actual talent and ability an artist or band has, progress is everything. Unfortunately, it seems that the broad majority of those who make their opinions known the most seem to lack the understanding that without progress, musicians can only go so far. Now that I'm off my soapbox, I can get into actually reviewing this album.

Enter Akissforjersey. This little-known band from North Carolina released an impressive debut album titled Keep Your Head Above the Water a little over two years ago (with a digital-only re-release of that album earlier this year). The album showcased a sound that, though it isn't completely original or ground-breaking, allowed us to see this young band combine quality musicianship by interweaving intricate guitar parts with crushing breakdowns all while mixing harsh and metallic-sounding screams (yes, metallic) with singer Zach Dawson's rather high-pitched vocals that rival those of well known high-pitched singers Bert McCracken (The Used) and Cove Reber (Saosin). If you don't believe me, just look up their live performances that can be found on YouTube; the man can belt it out and stay in pitch. Or just check out the song "Devices," and carefully listen towards the end of that track.

Here we are about a year and a half after the release of Keep Your Head Above the Water, and Akissforjersey are back with Victims. Upon first listen, I immediately noticed the improved production quality from their previous album. One of the problems with Keep Your Head Above the Water was somewhat poor production quality and mixing, which caused Dawson's vocals to nearly outshine the rest of the band's work. This time around the mixing is much better as the guitar parts are clearer and easier to hear and pair up much better with the vocals. Those of you who are already familiar with Akissforjersey will also notice that Zach has developed a much more guttural scream from their last album (think Underoath's Spencer Chamberlain's vocal difference from They're Only Chasing Safety to Define the Great Line).

Akissforjersey is very clear about what their purpose is for their music. They are Christians and they aren't afraid to say/show it. This leads to their lyrics being saturated with Christian themes, specifically for Victims the topics of grace, salvation, faith and struggling against sin. Take for instance the song "II": "There's a war within my body, and it's tearing me apart / The ivory is cracked in shattered pieces and I relied too much on my heart." Elsewhere, we see the offer of hope in the line from “Devices”: "Take back your life, oh no, it's not too late / We're all standing in the shallows waiting to be saved / You can't undo everything, but you can start, you can start again." If you feel that’s too preachy don't let that discourage you from giving these guys a shot. They are very talented and, though they haven't completely revitalized this genre, they have put forth a solid effort and made it past the dreaded “sophomore slump.”

Recommended if You LikeUnderoath (sans keyboards), Emery, The Used, Saosin, Scary Kids Scaring Kids

This review is a user submitted review from Jamos4184. You can see all of Jamos4184's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 11 of 11
06:41 AM on 07/11/08
promesas son sombras
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EchoPark's Avatar
Excellent review Jamos.

I say good for them for not being afraid to sing and play about what they believe in. I applaud their strong Christian beliefs.

2 thumbs way up for this album.
12:17 PM on 07/11/08
Matthew Tsai
Born and raised
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Matthew Tsai's Avatar
i thought their last one was far more accessible and that this one is a bit more generic.

both albums are pretty good though.
02:01 PM on 07/17/08
Do you know what stars are?
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meghanlail's Avatar
Awesome review. It's nice to see these guys get some love on this site.
I'm not a fan of KYHATW, but this record definitely restored my faith in them.

Oh, and if you ever get a chance to see them live...do it. Their live show is incredible.
05:04 PM on 07/17/08
Tyler Vagyler
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No Avatar Selected
I'd give this a little higher score.

It's a solid album all the way through.
07:35 PM on 07/17/08
Registered User
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rpk004's Avatar
i agree that this album is much more generic, and at least for me at times the christian influence got to be a little too much. but still, it's really catchy and ultimately i do like it just a little better than their first album.
12:57 AM on 07/18/08
my name is bilo
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No Avatar Selected
i agree that this album is much more generic, and at least for me at times the christian influence got to be a little too much. but still, it's really catchy and ultimately i do like it just a little better than their first album.
theyre a christian band, thats gonna be the majority of influence
02:50 PM on 08/09/08
Registered User
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Brett132's Avatar
Aweswome album.
01:41 AM on 02/18/09
I’ll make you my enemy
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PureBlueSF's Avatar
I like the second track (Oh, Infamous City) quite a bit. The rest of the album is pretty good too.
02:22 AM on 08/20/10
Between The Heart and The Synapse
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RadiantEyes's Avatar
Awesome album...too bad they broke up.
10:07 PM on 01/24/11
Regular Member
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H.e.n.r.I.'s Avatar
I like all of the "for fans of..." bands so im gonna pick this up

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