Falling In Reverse - Fashionably Late
Record Label: Epitaph
Release Date: June 18, 2013
I don't get it.
What do Falling In Reverse's songs mean? I'm 18, I'm female and I like the internet! Am I not Ronnie Radke's ideal demographic? Fashionably Late makes me feel really, very old. In the endless minutes contained within this record, there's synthesizers, there's rapping, there's screaming, there's video game beeps and bloops, there's all of those things that, when taken on their own, aren't that terrible but when combined together make a um.. 'fail'. No, really, this is terrible. It's a crime to music.
I'm relatively immune to the dramas of the music world, so I couldn't care less about what Radke does to the gossip columns, but, bloody hell, how dare he insult music with an album like this? Reluctantly, let's treat this record as an actual piece of musical art. Everything about it is incorrect musically. Radke's vocal performance is terrible. Where on The Drug In Me Is You, Radke's vocals were distinct (not necessarily in a positive way), this time round he's just irritating. The production makes every clean sung note sound the exact same, constantly pitchy and squeaky. Whether it's the rolling of 'r's in "Alone" or the over-dramatic Disney pop vocal performance on "Bad Girls Club", Radke makes the vocals of The Shaggs seem a little too sweet on the ears.
The songs themselves are a disaster. Everything is trashy and over the top, but generally rubbish too. Opener “Champion” is pretty representative of the entirety of the album, actually. Kicks off with a metalcore “aargh” for forty seconds or so before utilizing clean vocals, next comes a sugar rush chorus, then there’s repetition until Radke “raps”. The song dips into four particular musical techniques and they’re substandard at all of them. The metalcore breakdowns could have been crafted by any local band who’ve just heard their first ‘crabcore’ song, I’ve already dealt with how irritating the vocals are, the chorus has ‘whoas’ and catchy ingredients but even then it fails to make any impact. And the rapping. I won’t claim to be a hip-hop maestro but this makes The Lonely Island sound like Tupac. The attempts at rhyming are appalling and Radke just sounds like someone being poked in the butt with a pitchfork - this isn’t rapping, it’s speaking nonsense really fast. This description fits pretty much every track on the record. Apart from the ones that are worse. Like “Bad Girls Club”, a song so misogynistic that Bikini Kill are probably setting fire to Radke’s home right now. Despite Radke’s insistence on the last album that good girls fall for bad guys like him, he’s complaining about falling foul of bad girls over the sound of a High School Musical soundtrack being tortured with a blender.
I was going to devote some time to writing about the lyrics, but I think they speak for themselves. Let's have a look at some of my favourite lyrics: "I don't wanna be that guy, that makes you sad, that makes you cry again / Without a doubt sorry about fucking all your friends"."Follows me on Twitter/ Asking if I miss her/ Hashtag set me free". "Man I've been in rap since I was shitting in pampers/ Climb the ladder to the top and now I'm shitting on rappers". He’s like a modern Oscar Wilde, isn’t he?
There’s one good thing about Fashionably Late. Well, no. There’s nothing good about Fashionably Late, but there is one.. impressive thing about it. Radke’s ‘white boy swagger’ (or, as everyone else in the world calls it, his ego). Whilst listening to Falling In Reverse's sophomore album, I can't help but get this little, niggling feeling at the back of my brain that Ronnie Radke sounds like a man on the verge of going solo and releasing a 'self discovery' folk album. I mean this in the sincerest way possible. Never has someone sounded so incredibly self-assured, by Jove, the man makes Kanye West sound humble. He really believes he’s a rapper. He isn’t joking when he says “You want some beef? Better bring a fork”. It’s difficult not to admire that. But that's all there is to admire.
So, basically, this is probably the worst album ever created by a serious group of musicians. That or it's a parody that's really subtle in utilizing actual humour. Either way, it's inevitable that Falling In Reverse are probably going to get bigger and bigger over the next couple of years and become that band that all the kids love. I'm off to build my underground bunker, anyone got The Shaggs on vinyl?