Tag Archives: Issues

Have Screaming Issues With Issues? Try Slaves

TAWAAESlavesNot being particularly down with the kids (who would’ve thunk it?), I haven’t always been on the ball about artists that are actually worth paying attention to that everyone else has been. Following my overdue rant about Deezer, I was loading up some more artists I hadn’t heard before to give a listen to whilst I walk to work in the mornings. It was pretty much choosing at random (because as I previously stated, what the fuck else am I going to go on?). One such artist I happened to select was Slaves, the album called Through Art We Are All Equals. Based on the cover art and album name I was actually expecting a post-rock/metal act. Instead I got a djent-y (naturally), soul influenced (yes, you did read that right) alternative rock, and I am totally hooked. Must’ve listened to it about 5 times in a row yesterday, and it’s currently playing as I write this.
I’ve never heard of the vocalist before, but he seems to be popular with youths on Twitter and has a habit of getting kicked out of bands for being a drugged up douche bag. But you can overlook that for the fact that he’s one of the best vocalists I’ve ever heard. Honestly, his vocals are phenomenal and it’d be very easy to sell the album on that alone. Thankfully, the album has enough ideas and memorable melodies to make it an all-round win (funnily enough, it actually has Tyler Carter from Issues guest on one of the tracks).

Check out one of the singles below.

Also, if anyone can tell me who the bloody hell the vocalist reminds me of I’ll give them … no recognition whatsoever but inside I’ll be grateful.

Issues & Being Down With The Kids

So Issues, the pop-metal hybrid band that I like unashamedly, have just released a new video for their song ‘Never Lose Your Flame’. You can watch it below:

Issues–‘Watch me do a wheelie’

 

As metal videos go, it’s relatively standard, though for a band whose largest group of fans will be in the former years of the teenage years I assume it’s encouraging for many to see a music video about a young gay couple; metal music doesn’t have a particularly great track record when it comes to dealing with homosexuality, so it’s encouraging to see some bands showing it in a positive light as opposed to it merely serving as an insult. It’s not a ground-breaking video by any means, but it is at least commendable. Especially given that homophobic bullying (both as a problem in itself, and as a precursor to teen suicides and mental illness) is still a big problem: take this quote from an article published in 2012 by The Independent,

“Two out of every five victims of homophobic bullying at school attempt or contemplate suicide, a report released today reveals.

A survey of 1,600 gay, lesbian and bisexual young people aged between 11 and 19 showed that more than half had suffered from homophobic bullying while at school.”

That said, seeing vocalist Tyler Carter skateboarding did remind me of this: How-Do-You-Do-Fellow-Kids-Reaction-Gif-Steve-Buscemi

Review: Issues–Issues

Yes, I set up a metal site because it’s my main obsession in life. Yes, I have a shaved head, lip ring, and wear big black coats and boots. Yes, my house is littered with books on black magick, Satanism, and other aspects of the occult. I am also a massive not-very-closeted Darren Hayes (of Savage Garden fame) fan. This may go some way to explain why I fell in love with the debut Woe, Is Me album, and subsequently, the EP ‘Black Diamonds’ by the band Issues, formed after the melodic singer Tyler Carter left the band Woe, Is Me. Sadly it did mean that Woe, Is Me went on to create an utterly forgettable second album with a less interesting new vocalist, but if ‘Black Diamonds’ was anything to go by, Issues were a band to look out for should they go on to make a full length album (which they havehurray!).

So quick recap: Woe, Is Me were (their second album shied away from this mix preferring a sound more akin to a sub-par A Day To Remember) a djent-esque band who incorporated melodic vocals in the style of R&B, a refreshing change in a largely thoroughly-boring genre. You can check out their best song hereI still sing that song in the shower, like, a lot; I expect my partner to recreate the Psycho shower scene any day now. Issues took that sound and made the heavier bits more pop-punk/hardcore, resulting in a great little EP you could bop along to at all times of the day.

Interestingly, the new album has a lot more experimentation on that sound than I expected, making a turntable and nu-metal hooks more of a ‘thing’. And fuck me does it work. Club synths, churning guitars, DJ extravagances akin to Linkin Park’s track ‘Cure For The Itch’, and R&B offshoots left, right, and centre. There’s also more of a punch to the heavier aspects, making it difficult not to think back to that first Woe, Is Me album. It’s hard not to get swept along on the whole thing after a few listens; I love a good bop (that’s a thing, right?), and this album is perfect for that.

Admittedly, this album could be easily swept aside as a tween/Hot Topic waste of time, but I doubt you’d be reading this far if you weren’t semi-interested in this sort of sound. If you want a nice summary of the album, you can’t go wrong with their single ‘Stingray Affliction’. I know for a fact many metal purists will absolutely despise this band; it’s not metal, it’s pop music for mall rats. Eh, I find this sort of thing boring to argue; I’m quite happy to dance round my house to Savage Garden, then switch to Aborted by the next song. If you look back at albums like Hybrid Theory with a grimace, you almost certainly won’t enjoy bands like Issues, or another band I adore, I See Stars (‘New Demons’ was one of my favourite releases of last year). Personally, I really enjoy genre crossing albums, so Issues strikes a chord with me, in the same way that Linkin Park’s criminally underrated ‘Reanimation’ did.

If you like your metalcore to have some bubble gum hooks, sing-along melodies, and unapologetic pop influences, you could do far worse than Issues’ self titled new album. I, for one, will definitely be listening to this album a lot this year.

9/10

TL;DR: Brutal death metal is fantastic, but sometimes it’s nice to have something ludicrously poppy, and this album has that in spades. Great fun, but bound to anger those who only dabble in the heavier side of metal, or rarely stray from its borders (sod them).