Escape The Fate

Escape The Fate

Written by: TL on 09/11/2010 17:44:18

A little while ago, Escape The Fate issued in a statement that their new self-titled album was pretty much going to revolutionize the way the world thought of rock'n'roll, and while the sensationalist in me allowed me to hope that would be the case, others, like our dear editor PP, reserved the right to call 'bullshit' and expect the worst. Unfortunately for Escape The Fate, this discussion won't be about how I was right, because I wasn't, there's no revolution in sight - rather it's going to dissect the parts of the band's sudden demise, and discuss to which extent the record is a total train wreck.

Why so glum? Well, where to start. I guess first of all, the problem is that ETF have tried to become grander and heavier, which means things have slowed down, and what used to sound like cheeky attitude from the band, now sounds like they really do think they're the next Guns N' Roses. Any hint of self-awareness seems to have been left behind, and while the aim here seems to have been to sound meaner, the elements that try to bring this about are rather dull and pseudo-heavy in reality, and always substituted for a clean, chord-backed chorus, exactly when you expect it.

Such predictability could probably have been forgiven, had the band been able to come up with vocal hooks and guitar lines that were as catchy as those demonstrated on the two prior albums. This is not the case however, instead I would say the riffs seem forced and the choruses boring, and what's even worse is that most of them sound rather heard-before. Or is it just me that hears some Bring Me The Horizon in "Massacre"? Some similarity between the intro riff of "Issues" and Papa Roach's "Last Resort"? The guitar sound of Hundred Reasons' "Kill Your Own" in "City Of Sin"? Am I the only one hearing that "Zombie Dance" sounds like a poor rewriting of "It's Just Me", and that "Gorgeous Nightmare" opens very much like Marilyn Manson's cover of "Sweet Dreams" and leads into a chorus borrowed almost exactly from P.O.D.?

Okay, okay, that might be paranoia and me spending too much time listening to rock music, and arguably, it can be very hard to write new stuff that doesn't sound like something that's been written already. It doesn't matter that much though, because the main issue is still that things seem to be slowed down, dumbed down and attached to stupider lyrics and forgettable choruses. The album is a picture-perfect example of what the good PP always describes as his nightmare scenario for bands moving forward. They've inflated their songs and seemingly forgotten what made them good.

However, is the record a totally God-awful train wreck? Well, in all honesty, as a fan of good production and megalomaniac attitude, I can't bring myself to say so, because both things are certainly available in considerable amounts. Craig Mabbitt still spits out attitude-filled vocals as well as ever, and while the compositions are impotent compared to earlier offerings, the production is directly the opposite, packing exactly the 'oomph' you want as a band trying to step it up to the big leagues. Such things do count for something with me, as does the moments when guitarist Bryan Money is occasionally allowed to rip his guitar apart.

'Monte' as he is nicknamed, shows when allowed in the formulaic song writing, that he can definitely shred, which is showcased as ETF once again try to put the best of themselves into another installment of "The Guillotine", this time called "The Aftermath", but even though this is probably among the highlights of the record, it still isn't even nearly on par with its predecessors. And that really is the story about "Escape The Fate" the album. Whether the ideas here are borrowed or original, talking about revolutionizing rock music is a moot issue when your songs all sound like yesterday's news, and your hooks have all the staying power of a storm in a glass of water. ETF are wasting what talent they have on trying to find shortcuts to greatness, and the result is a self-titled album that's momentarily enjoyable at best, and about which I can say with confidence, that I will have forgotten most everything about it by this time next week.

6

Download: The Aftermath (The Guillotine Pt. III), Prepare Your Weapon, Gorgeous Nightmare
For The Fans Of: Bullet For My Valentine, Alesana, The Used
Listen: myspace.com/escapethefate

Release Date 02.11.2010
DGC/Interscope

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