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Jack Appleby 11/18/12 09:24 PM

Issues - Black Diamonds
 
Issues Black Diamonds
Record Label: Rise / Velocity
Release Date: November 13, 2012


Issues is completely ridiculous. There's enough nu-metal to make Hybrid Theory proud (or horrified), Djentish riffs, hints of R&B and dubstep, cliche metalcore clean/scream combos, and record scratching. More or less, it's everything you hate about music.

But it's kind of fun.

By being completely self-indulgent, Black Diamonds sort of... works. Each member hammers their genre of choice into the mix, creating an oddly-cohesive abomination that's as memorable as it is polarizing.

As expected, Tyler Carter once again proves to be a star in the making. Whether he's delivering smooth R&B hooks on "Princeton Avenue" or upbeat choruses on "King Of Amarillo," the singer demands your attention and shows off-the-chart talent. It's no coincidence that the EP's best cut is "The Worst Of Them," where he near exclusively leads the vocal attack. That's not to say Michael Bohn should step aside; as someone who formerly loathed the screamer, I found myself enjoying his approach here. On Woe, Is Me's Number[s], his mic time often served as a springboard for big Carter lines - the same isn't true in Issues, where the two share the spotlight well (see: the chorus of "Princeton Ave").

Strangely enough, the most kudos go to the band's least known members: AJ Robello and Ty Accord. The vocals are great, but the instrumentation's pop is what really sets the songs off, whether it's Robello's riffs or Accord's programming/keys. Production from the always-great Kris Crummett deserves recognition as well, combining forces with the aforementioned two and drummer Case Snedecor as the glue that keeps these songs together.

Don't get me wrong - there's a fair share of WTF moments. The amalgamation goes too far with "Love Sex Riot," a Carter solo track adapted for the EP with a bizarre party-in-the-club-but-with-angry-screamers vibe. The same goes for the second half of "Her Monologue" (or is it a secret track?) where Tyler raps alongside someone named Snow Tha Product - that never needs to happen again.

So yeah - I liked it. Weird.

Recommended If You LikeUm... *scratches head* everything and nothing?
Additional InformationThe EP can be streamed in full via Rise Records' YouTube.

Jack Appleby 11/18/12 09:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Meech (Post 115546692)
This was a really good and somewhat hilarious review Jack. I disagree with your overall sentiment, I think they showed a few bright spots that they can build upon, but the constant (awful) chugging was too much for me to handle, and Carter's voice is pretty annoying to me. I think the fact that everyone in this band and their fans irritate the living crap out of me doesn't help much.

Anything's better than new Woe is Me though.

Yeah, if you're not a Tyler fan, there's no way you'll like this. I personally like the dude.

Didn't think they overchugged here, either. Now Genesi[s], on the other hand - that's coming later tonight.

Jake Denning 11/18/12 09:47 PM

Hate on, but I enjoyed this as well. In fact, my own personal score is higher than Jack's.

JayDanielHammer 11/18/12 11:33 PM

RIYL?

saywhatever 11/19/12 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jay_klinkhammer (Post 115549512)
RIYL?

Vapid piles of complete musical shit.

EndlessPrisoner 11/19/12 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by saywhatever (Post 115550312)
Vapid piles of complete musical shit.

+1

bowbzzz 11/19/12 02:17 AM

why anyone thinks this is album deserves an 82% rating is beyond me.

cowlord 11/19/12 08:14 AM

Holy shit this review is so spot on haha

Quijiba 11/19/12 08:27 AM

This review is pretty much how I feel about it. I found myself looking at my iPhone and going WTF is this actually on the album? But then at the end of it I kind of lol'd and didn't hate it. Maybe their full length debut wont be as weird

henry chinaski 11/19/12 08:38 AM

Shouldn't this also have a 5% rating?

Viva Sonata 11/19/12 08:48 AM

WRATH TO THE INDUSTRY

HeyItsAllyssa 11/19/12 10:39 AM

It's a weird compilation of music. But I caught myself playing it a few times on the drive to work. I wouldn't mind if they got rid of the rapping though.

deadelement 11/19/12 12:23 PM

I kinda agree with the review, the intro is awful and the outro as a bit too indulgent and they desperately need a 2nd guitarist who can play leads, but most of the EP is enjoyable. Even with the generic core elements, it's hard to say they sound like too many other bands out there right now. Tyler is the highlight hands down.

WeltallAY 11/19/12 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by deadelement (Post 115562552)
I kinda agree with the review, the intro is awful and the outro as a bit too indulgent and they desperately need a 2nd guitarist who can play leads, but most of the EP is enjoyable. Even with the generic core elements, it's hard to say they sound like too many other bands out there right now. Tyler is the highlight hands down.


Agree with everything said here but especially this. The guitarwork on this EP is nothing more than basic rhythm. At first I didn't like his EP but after a few listens I kind of get it and appreciate it more. I'd give it 7/10.

On a random side note, I agree with everyone that the intro is horrendous. For some reason I imagine a scene of them performing live and that intro is first and that one member who doesn't play an insrument is just sitting on the side with a conducter's baton while the other members just kind of bob their heads timidly.

Steve Alcala 11/19/12 12:53 PM

Only real good thing about this is the immaculate production. Crummetts's tones switch up nicely with the music, no matter how awkward that was. When it's hip hop style, the production suits it perfectly. When it's metalcore, the same could be said. That kick/snare combo sounds incredible and the guitars are nice and warm. Not to mention none of the vocals sound overly processed.

Hats off to Kris.

pepster50 11/19/12 12:57 PM

You nailed it. This album is SO weird. But at the end of the day its enjoyable. The first 3 tracks(not intro) are quite good and makes me forgive the last 2 and the intro. Its nothing special, but in a genre that is so stale now, they bring something new to the table. It may not be steak and shrimp but it's better than McDonalds lol.

a3s1g1 11/19/12 01:21 PM

never heard of this group/musicians before, but this EP is pretty weird....good review Jack!

Ryan Gardner 11/19/12 01:51 PM

I think Tyler is a great singer, but other than his parts, this is terrible.

(l,k) 11/19/12 07:29 PM

this makes me wish jonny craig would go back to his high pitched style that everyone bit him on and reclaim whats his lol

Archael 11/24/12 11:29 AM

...............

Archael 11/24/12 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by henry chinaski (Post 115555372)
Shouldn't this also have a 5% rating?

Quote:

Originally Posted by saywhatever (Post 115550312)
Vapid piles of complete musical shit.

most accurate comments in this thread

agl 11/24/12 04:55 PM

This album sounds much better when you listen to it after Genesi[s]. At least this is kinda interesting at times, and the vocals and lyrics are superior.