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Drop Dead, Gorgeous, The - The Hot 'N Heavy Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.75
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 6.25
Production 9.5
Creativity 6.25
Lasting Value 7.75
Reviewer Tilt 8.25
Final Verdict: 76%
Member Ratings
Vocals 5.81
Musicianship 6.31
Lyrics 6.31
Production 7.06
Creativity 5.56
Lasting Value 5.19
Reviewer Tilt 5.13
Average: 59%

Drop Dead, Gorgeous, The - The Hot 'N Heavy

Reviewed by: Klatzke (06/18/09)
Drop Dead, Gorgeous - The Hot 'N Heavy
Release Date: June 2, 2009
Record Label: Suretone Records

I get it, you probably hate Drop Dead, Gorgeous for any number of reasons. Sure, there are a few reasons why it would make sense to dislike the band. I mean, In Vogue was basically just watered down metalcore, and sure, it didn't have the musical integrity of many of their peers' albums. They do rely on image an awful lot too, and it really helps them along when their vocalist looks dead-on Bert McCracken in half the pictures he's caught in. (major scene cred). Of course, there's Danny Stills' voice itself, which seems to drive quite a few people straight up the wall. Oh, and hey! They use that useless comma in their name to make them oh-so-scene (which I think even haters have to admit was a witty addition).

Of course, there's also plenty of reasons that Drop Dead, Gorgeous, and their third album, The Hot 'N Heavy, deserve your respect much more than most of the scene sound-alikes. Though In Vogue was largely sub-par in terms of maturation and considerable amount of talent to stand out, it was a scene favorite for one reason: it was damn catchy. Their sophomore album (yeah, not counting the EP, we ALL know it exists), Worse Than a Fairy Tale, saw the band exploring much more mature themes and concepts for a band originally cornered straight into the scene category. Dropping the screaming and putting an emphasis on Stills' wailing screaming throughout a tale explaining a murder in a small town, they advanced further than most of their scene counterparts have, and for this, they lost a number of fans.

The Hot 'N Heavy is kind of a return to pre-Fairy Tale Drop Dead, Gorgeous. This will, of course, make fans of In Vogue ecstatic, while alienating the fans that were attracted to the tale-spinning incarnation of the band. The screaming is back in full force, and Stills' screeching sounds far better than it did during In Vogue. His singing has improved in leagues since then as well, and though you don't hear the full-flexing of his voice that you did during their sophomore release, you can tell that his vocal approach is continuing to advance. While many people hate his voice, I largely find it fine throughout The Hot 'N Heavy, and if you're used to the voices of say, Sonny Moore or Ryan Zimmerman, you should have no problem appreciating Stills'. He conveys a sense of urgency throughout the tracks that's largely missed in today's little "nu-screamo" movement. Sure, there are places where the screams can be a tad grating, but hell, at least he sounds passionate.

The instrumentation on The Hot 'N Heavy is really what you'd expect from any release of this genre: heavy guitars, heavy drumming, and few unexpected changes. They use their synth quite a bit, and they use it well. In comparison to In Vogue, the instrumentation has taken a step towards the less-generic, but it's still going to be largely what you're expecting. I do have to comment on their drummer, Danny Cooper, who makes a seriously good impression on many of the heavier tracks, like "Killing A Classic" and "Beat the Devil Out Of It." None of the members aren't talented, they're just not pushing boundaries either technically or creatively, giving me little to really comment on in passing.

There are quite a few standout tracks on the album, including the opener "Beat the Devil Out Of It," "Sue Simmons! Watch Your Mouth," "Fame" and "Dirtier Than You Want To Know." They all shine for different reasons, but the one thread they all have in common is that they're the heavier tracks from The Hot 'N Heavy. The main "pop" song from the album, "Two Birds, One Stone," is a throw-away, and Drop Dead, Gorgeous seem to be more in their sweet spot when they're rocking out on their instruments to Stills' screams rather than playing it safe to his wails. One of the most notable things about these sets of tracks is the guest spot by A Static Lullaby's Joe Brown in "Sue Simmons! Watch Your Mouth" where his screaming plays off perfectly against that of Stills'. In addition, the singing vocalist in "Fame" pulls off his part extremely well and serves as a sharp contrast to Stills' wail that works perfectly.

Overall, The Hot 'N Heavy really is a generic album. That cannot be denied. Fans of In Vogue are going to dig this a lot more than those that jumped on with Worse Than A Fairy Tale. However, they've settled down quite a bit since their In Vogue days, both in their overuse of cliches and the overall abrasiveness of their sound. While you may have your reasons to hate them, Drop Dead, Gorgeous really aren't deserving of most of the hate heaped onto them by people who may or may not be fans of the genre, and The Hot 'N Heavy can sort of prove that, depending on how you take it. They're not going to win any medals for creativity, and I'd say they're probably okay with that, but The Hot 'N Heavy is easily one of the catchiest albums released in this genre this year thus far, and shouldn't be discounted based solely on the (possibly misguided) reputation of the band.

Recommended If You LikeGreeley Estates; From First To Last's Heroine; Blessthefall; In Vogue


Myspacehttp//www.myspace.com/dropdeadgorgeous
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 42
02:32 PM on 06/23/09
#2
more heart
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Words can't even begin to discribe my dislike of this band.
07:35 PM on 06/23/09
#3
simensays
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Great Review. All i see on this site is people complaining about his voice, and simply the band. i don't think they gave this band much of a listen. Your review knocked the nail right on the head. Personally, Dirtier Than You Want To Know is the only song you named that I really enjoyed, the album is really catchy. Personally I found Southern Lovin to be the catchiest track i've heard in a long time, and Internet Killed The Video Star does not trail behind too far.
Ok i fibbed, Beat The Devil is a sic catchy song.

Stills seems to be hitting higher notes on this album. I still prefer In Vogue because it was so crazy, and his scream sounded just so unique. The Hot N' Heavy's screams sound very similar to that of Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath (atleast when he gets those low screams)- Not saying that's a bad thing, just In Vogue he had his own unique style that I was so fond of.

Still, great album,(no pun) it's my favorite in the genre that has fallen to waste.
Again, great review.
02:00 AM on 06/24/09
#4
denissuxx
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Good review. I for one, really like this album.
05:25 AM on 06/24/09
#5
Akissforher
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i dont see why so many people hate them so, i still enjoy them, cant sit through a whole record though.
07:04 AM on 06/24/09
#6
valoo
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Love the cd, similar to Go West young man
07:31 PM on 06/24/09
#7
TotalCollapse
You are my blanked out pages.
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I've never been a fan of this band. The screamer sounds like he's 10.
07:35 PM on 06/24/09
#8
more heart
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i dont see why so many people hate them so, i still enjoy them, cant sit through a whole record though.
I'll give you a reason. People constantly bitch about The Devil Wears Prada, a band with talent, and far less people bitch about DDG, an overtly cliche band with a vocalist(as said by Marie) who sounds like a 10 year old throwing a temper tantrum.

Is that good enough?
11:52 PM on 06/24/09
#9
Akissforher
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I'll give you a reason. People constantly bitch about The Devil Wears Prada, a band with talent, and far less people bitch about DDG, an overtly cliche band with a vocalist(as said by Marie) who sounds like a 10 year old throwing a temper tantrum.

Is that good enough?
i guess it does but i like tdwp alot too.
12:02 PM on 06/25/09
texasuckfest
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so metal, it makes your car breakdown... not
03:56 PM on 06/25/09
chelseaxsmilexD
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I'll give you a reason. People constantly bitch about The Devil Wears Prada, a band with talent, and far less people bitch about DDG, an overtly cliche band with a vocalist(as said by Marie) who sounds like a 10 year old throwing a temper tantrum.

Is that good enough?
tdwp is amazing! reptarr!!! garr... anyway.. souther lovin' is grate~!~ fans of this review should check out my from first to last, dear diary... review...
03:59 PM on 06/25/09
chelseaxsmilexD
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I've never been a fan of this band. The screamer sounds like he's 10.
hey that is an insult to all ten year olds... though i like this band, he sounds like he didn't go through puberty/
04:38 PM on 06/25/09
more heart
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tdwp is amazing! reptarr!!! garr... anyway.. souther lovin' is grate~!~ fans of this review should check out my from first to last, dear diary... review...
So you don't like TDWP, yet you like Drop Dead, Gorgeous?

Oh, From First to last should never be compared to Alexisonfire or From Autumn to Ashes.
07:12 PM on 06/25/09
chelseaxsmilexD
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So you don't like TDWP, yet you like Drop Dead, Gorgeous?

Oh, From First to last should never be compared to Alexisonfire or From Autumn to Ashes.
maybe you should learn to read, because i said tdwp is amazing. I love them. i like dd,g. like being the operative word. Also, I said that FATA and Alexisonfire were different than FFTL because they strayed from the Saosin-esque/Escape The Fate salable formula of having heavier songs being balanced out by angsty ballads like Emily.
07:17 PM on 06/25/09
more heart
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maybe you should learn to read, because i said tdwp is amazing. I love them. i like dd,g. like being the operative word. Also, I said that FATA and Alexisonfire were different than FFTL because they strayed from the Saosin-esque/Escape The Fate salable formula of having heavier songs being balanced out by angsty ballads like Emily.
Well, given what you said afterwards, I wasn't sure if you were being sarcastic.
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