AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
I See Stars - 3D Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.25
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7
Production 9.5
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 5.75
Reviewer Tilt 7.25
Final Verdict: 75%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.28
Musicianship 7.08
Lyrics 6.61
Production 7.75
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 6.86
Reviewer Tilt 7.28
Average: 71%
Inside AP.net

I See Stars - 3D

Reviewed by: Klatzke (05/19/09)
I See Stars - 3D
Release Date: April 14, 2009
Record Label: Sumerian Records

Fads come and fads go; in the process they leave behind a few bands that serve as the epiphany of the genre – whether good or bad. Surely everyone has noticed the latest of these trends. With bands like Handshakes and Highfives and Attack Attack emerging in hordes it would be almost impossible not to. These bands that fuse electronics with extremely pop oriented post-hardcore miss their mark much more often than they hit it, and really, to this point, I’ve had a fairly hard time finding one of them worth my time. However, it seems as if one of the earliest newcomers to this budding genre, I See Stars, have released an album that actually shows this fad has some kind of credibility.

I See Stars’ 3D has some truly brilliant moments. Unlike their peers, they manage to keep some form of actual technicality and musicianship on this album and don’t just dub everything over with an obnoxious synth beat. In the places where they do utilize a heavy electronic overlay, they tend to do so with more creative beats (see: the excellent intro to “Save the Cheerleader”). Their guitar work tends to be above par for this subgenre and, in many cases, post-hardcore in general. This is most noticeable in the aforementioned track where the presence of a synth is replaced with a charging technical riff. The band’s breakdowns tend to be more creative and fresh than I’m used to, and whether they switch it up with interesting vocal arrangements, such as the sonic screaming in “Big Bad Wolf,” or throw in a super catchy electronic beat they tend to be at least slightly unique.

In addition to those factors, another of I See Stars’ strengths lies in their ability to shift seamlessly between ultra-heavy and pleasantly catchy. Take “Big Bad Wolf” as an example; it shifts effortlessly between its vocoder-ridden chorus to the most vicious breakdown I think I’ve ever heard, all without any kind of jarring effect. This then shifts right back into the more pop oriented side of the band with the track “I Am Jacks Smirking Revenge,” showing their aptitude for keeping the album moving and mixing up the types of tracks. Songs aren’t hindered by lengthy instrumental intros or unnecessarily repeated choruses; they’re fairly short, to the point, and accessible. There are, however, a couple of duds among the eleven tracks on the album. One of these, “Sing This!” is a complete and utter waste of time. Easily the most pop-oriented track from the album, it contains an annoying beat and even worse vocals. The following track “The Ocean” is an instrumental number, and despite being calming, just kills any residual hype that “”Sing This!” didn’t and sets up the final track, “What This Means to Me” to sound mediocre in comparison to the rest of the album. To put it a bit more simply, if the album had ended at the eighth track, I wouldn’t mind.

Another facet of these bands that draws quite a bit of criticism is their insistence on auto-tune and vocoders when singing. While I See Stars’ vocalist does use a vocoder or auto-tune in some places, you can tell that in a few places he forgoes it and displays his somewhat vulnerable singing. Each of these different effects essentially creates a different vocal device, and combined with the multiple different screams and growls the vocalist has in his arsenal, the vocal structuring in most of the tracks is extremely varied (something that I find particularly attractive). The vocals, especially the screaming, are fairly reminiscent of Emarosa’s This Is Your Way Out EP, and fans of that album should definitely enjoy this. In fact, the only qualm I really have with the vocals is that I love to hear more screaming in comparison to singing.

I See Stars’ 3D is an album that is sure to be criticized by many. While some of this heat will be deserved, since songs like “Sing This!” are a complete waste of space, 3D is easily the best album of this subgenre I’ve heard. If you’re on the fence about these bands or actually enjoy this genre, I See Stars’ 3D should leave a great taste. However, if you’re just a purveyor of heavier music and have decided to give the style a go, then I’d start with 3D. Maybe, just maybe you’ll think it’s the glimmer of hope this genre is looking for.

Recommended If You LikeWe Came As Romans; Attack Attack; Agraceful; Emarosa’s This Is Your Way Out


Myspacehttp://www.myspace.com/iseestarsmusic
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 35
05:52 PM on 05/30/09
#2
more heart
Get Hurt
Offline
User Info.
more heart's Avatar
Andrew's back! Great review. I really liked this but, I'm surprised you scored it so highly. I wouldn't have the balls to take a band like this and do such a great job praising them. Again, good review.

Edit: What I said may be a bit confusing but I really do love this record.
08:54 AM on 05/31/09
#3
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
Offline
User Info.
Klatzke's Avatar
Andrew's back! Great review. I really liked this but, I'm surprised you scored it so highly. I wouldn't have the balls to take a band like this and do such a great job praising them. Again, good review.
Thank you
10:34 AM on 06/01/09
#4
xapplexpiex
&.&
Offline
User Info.
xapplexpiex's Avatar
These guys went to my high school...just last year.
10:46 AM on 06/01/09
#5
batmannj
"No more half measures Walt"
Offline
User Info.
batmannj's Avatar
I checked this out because of your review Klatzke, and I actually really enjoyed it. It's a solid guilty pleasure record haha
10:37 PM on 06/01/09
#6
gr33ndayfr3ak
www.nickferran.com
Offline
User Info.
gr33ndayfr3ak's Avatar
Such a huge improvement from their previous work, even just from the demos of some of these songs...mainly because they dropped the vocoder on a significant amount of them.
Solid, solid record.
05:51 AM on 06/02/09
#7
donwagenblast
@mylifeisdon
Offline
User Info.
donwagenblast's Avatar
Ever since you posted that you were reviewing this, I've been anticipating the review. I've had the hardest time judging this record, I feel like I've heard it all before. I completely agree with you about the catchyness though.
07:19 AM on 06/02/09
#8
simensays
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
simensays's Avatar
i guess they are the best in there subgenre of music. It seems that every highschool band is making this type of music now. Owell, it will fade.
Comfortably Confused is the only song that I had on repeat.
07:45 AM on 06/02/09
#9
mena
This whole box is Pepe Silvia!
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I rememeber hearing some demos back in '07 and not liking it. If they truly got rid of those obnoxious vocals, then I'll give this a try.
09:14 AM on 06/02/09
denissuxx
.
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Love the album, love the review, seriously respect the reviewer
09:44 AM on 06/02/09
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
Offline
User Info.
Klatzke's Avatar
Love the album, love the review, seriously respect the reviewer
Thank you
11:01 AM on 06/04/09
fashionshowdown
You're so money baby!
Offline
User Info.
fashionshowdown's Avatar
good review man. I think "sing this" should have never made the record. They should have made "what this means to me" the first track and leave "the ocean" as an outro instead of an interlude, it would have made the CD a lot better. I don't know who's supposed to catch that in the CD process, but they botched it. I always start at track 12 and didn't even put "sing this" on my ipod. it was a wonderful CD purchase though, they completely make up for terrible bands like brokencyde.
04:10 PM on 06/06/09
mymusicismylife
Disgruntled wheat thins enthusiast
Offline
User Info.
mymusicismylife's Avatar
I heard these guys were horrible live, but I'll check it out, especially since Emarosa's This is Your Way Out is in the RIYL. Great review though.
06:50 PM on 06/06/09
more heart
Get Hurt
Offline
User Info.
more heart's Avatar
I heard these guys were horrible live, but I'll check it out, especially since Emarosa's This is Your Way Out is in the RIYL. Great review though.
I saw them live in February and they weren't too bad from what I remember.
10:15 PM on 06/07/09
aspartame
so more to life
Offline
User Info.
aspartame's Avatar
i too am from the same high school as these guys. wasnt a fan a few years ago, but they seem to have made a name for themselves. so has we came as romans, who went to the other high school in my hometown. i'll have to listen again.
Options
More From This Author
Buy the Music

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm