Forever The Sickest Kids

Forever The Sickest Kids

Written by: TL on 11/07/2011 13:02:32

Back in 2007, when the race was still on to see who would be the next big thing in pop-punk, one band that gathered considerable amounts of hype was Forever The Sickest Kids, who got signed to Universal/Motown after a massive bidding war had followed the release of "Hey Brittany", the first song the band had ever released. A debut EP followed quickly, and the year after, I learned of the band when I was sent their debut LP "Underdog Alma Mater" for review. Now, whether it was due to complete lack of class or talent, or due to instant and early label pressure, I do not know, but that album was utter garbage. While it achieved moderate commercial success, FTSK lost the pop-punk race to All Time Low, singer Jonathan Cook became the bud of many an internet joke and eventually the band faded back towards obscurity.

At first their response was to release an ambitious 3-part mini-album called "Weekend", but plans were put on hold after the slim reactions to the first release "Friday EP", and instead FTSK commenced work on the self-titled sophomore album that has since landed on my desk, meant to be the subject of this review.

And well, what can I say, this band is still pretty awful. "Forever The Sickest Kids" have eleven songs on offer, on which the band shamelessly melts pop-punk and neon electronics, into compositions that are pretty much all chorus-chorus-chorus. Instrumentally, the content is entirely run-of-the-mill, from the four chord melodies to the attempts at high-lighting songs with electronics borrowed from dance pop, mainly in the various bridge sections. Jonathan Cook sings with a sharp voice which sounds like it's almost constantly strained in a seemingly unnatural and certainly annoying way (think Bert McCracken x2), and the lyrics range from trivial to braindead. One moment a song like "King For A Day" will proclaim that "if I was king, king, king for a day, I'd make, make, make you my queen, I'd buy, buy, buy you a wedding ring" and the next "Good Life" confesses "I want girls coming over at the push of a button" before going on to speak of how much Cook wishes to be rich.

If there's one halfway good thing to say about "Forever The Sickest Kids", it is that the record is at least moderately catchy. As much is hard to avoid after all, when the melodies are simpler than tic-tac-toe and whoa-oh's are injected into the lyrics ad nauseam. And as much can only be expected I guess, from a band that has been haunted by the clammy hands of corporate interest from the word go. Who is more to blame, Universal or FTSK themselves, is not for me to say however, but the fact is that this is another terrible album from a band that has only released terrible music. Clearly it is not meant for people who want to listen to lyrics or be engaged on even the shallowest of emotional levels, rather the target audience is quite likely to be easily impressionable teenagers, who want nothing else than to dance and hum along mindlessly. Parents of the world, heed my warning: Buy your teens a record by Fall Out Boy or Relient K instead. Meanwhile, FTSK have the audacity to title their last song "What Happened To Emotion? (Killing Me)", and while you ponder the irony of that, don't even get me started of their use of these paranthesized double-titles (used seemingly as an alternative to fans that are too dumb to remember a title of more than three words). Long story short, someone should put this band out of its misery.


Download: Summer Song, What Happened To Emotion? (Killing Me)
For The Fans Of: Metro Station, Simple Plan, Boys Like Girls, We The Kings

Release Date 01.03.2011
Universal Records

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