Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Issues [Self Titled]

Ahh it's finally here... The first full length from Issues! The spawn of ex Woe Is Me members Michale Bohn and Tyler Carter, Issues is a new band on the scene that really doesn't fall into line with the rest of the bands in their genre. Featuring slick bass lines, bouncy guitar riffs and even disk scratching and synths, Issues brings a new flavor of style to this very generic scene of music. Already having released an EP and multiple singles, these guys aren't newbies and know how to get shit done. This album is coherent and filled with graceful choruses from Tyler and bone crunching breakdowns with Michael's screams over top. As of right now, this is easily a personal favorite of mine and will be on repeat for weeks to come. Let's dive into some of the tracks and break it down for you...

Sad Ghost features an erie intro that lets us know that this album is off to a wicked start. Bringing out the big guns early, listeners are treated to some nice guitar chugging and riffing with Scout on the turntable scratching away. This is of course right before we fade away into a fantasy world with Tyler's clean vocals. This man truly is one of the most talented singers in the industry today and is at his best on this album. This track features a nice repeating chorus while keeping some underlying heavy elements present to remind us that it could drop to that low guitar tuning any second. Bit of advice... prepare yourself for the breakdown at about 3 minutes, it's gonna make you move no matter where you are. 

I wouldn't say it's strange to find songs on this album with a pop sound, and Late is a perfect example. This track starts off with a very standard four on the floor bass drum and brings in some pop synths and effects to complete the sound. Tyler's voice is complimented very well with this style and it's nice to see the band experimenting with so many unique sounds. This track is filling with pop chord progressions and whizzing effects, but it still has the stylistic marking of Issues with AJ's guitar tone and Michael's screams in some verses. It's a solid track that shows the range of sound that this group is capable of creating. 

The last track I'm going to discuss is  Personality Cult. This one really brings all of the elements together to create one hell of a song. We get that sick intro with some nice ambience and FX before going into a harmony that leads us into the meat and potatoes. The rhythms start of slow and distant before building up to the faster section with relentless guitar riffing and Josh Manuel pounding away on the drum kit. There's also a strong balance here of the two vocalist's rather than focusing on one of them like most of the other tracks. Also, this track is more lengthy than some of there others so it progresses throughout while maintaining strong elements from the main melody/theme. 

To be honest, I'm very impressed with the material on Issues. I knew that it would be solid no matter what, but these guys have really raised the bar as far as diversity and the material on this album blows away anything that they had put out up until now. I highly recommend this album and even if you can't get into the whole thing I guarantee at least one song will have an element that grabs you and leaves you wanting more. Definitely pick this one up and support the guys in Issues!!!

Issues [Self Titled] = 4.5/5

Check out the band's brand new official video for "Stingray Affliction" off this album!!