Woe, Is Me

American Dream EP

Written by: BL on 28/08/2013 00:36:49

It's hard to say how difficult things have really been for the Atlanta, Georgia metalcore outfit Woe, Is Me. We've seen the departures of all but one of their original members, the formation of Issues featuring ex-members which has now divided their once stronger fanbase, and "Genesi[s]", their last release which was a huge step backwards musically in almost every department from their debut. Gone were the lead guitar melodies and the R'n'B influences and in their stead came a 400% increase in relentless guitar chugging, atrociously juvenile lyrics clearly formed by bitter resentment, and the rest being what can only be described as a poor man's A Day To Remember knock off. In many ways the new EP "American Dream" represents an attempt to move on from their anger filled past, but is only a slight improvement.

Stylistically there are minor changes compared to "Genesi[s]" though you may be hard pressed to tell initially. Opening song "Stand Up" shares similar guitar patterns especially in the early segments to Bring Me The Horizon's "Shadow Moses", but quickly changes pace to allow clean vocalist Hance Alligood to shine as his singing is a lot less forced this time round and the melodies catchier. The rest of it is disappointly the same recycled breakdown driven sound of old, though the balance between melody and banality feels more evenly distributed to be somewhat bearable. The EP titled track following on stays relatively level except brings in a more pop punk side ("Woah-Ah-Oh!") while "A Voice Of Hope" probably has the most technical guitar riffs in the band's history in the beginning moments - before resorting back to more A Day To Remember-esque material.

From then on where Woe, Is Me go all sensitive as the remaining two songs "Restless Nights" and "Fine Without You" are both original acoustic arrangements, which is a first ever. Whilst one can appreciate the change in setting and the attempt in being heartfelt, the hooks to be found are actually very hit or miss. The limits to Hance's voice become apparent as he is let down especially by some cringey moments of delivery and directionless passages that lack progression. The lyrics while at least positive in their messages (and have been for most of the EP), are still consistently basic and too generic to strike a real chord.

One struggles to find many reasons to recommend "American Dream" to be perfectly honest. Outside a song or two there's not much content to replay even if you enjoy the genre. The derivative influences, the mediocre production values and the drab repetitive guitar play are criminally prevalent issues, and despite minor gains on what was a truly atrocious previous album, Woe, Is Me are still missing what once made them stand out amongst their peers. I would be mildly surprised if their next full length manages any better, but I'm not holding my breath.

Download: Stand Up, American Dream, A Voice Of Hope
For the fans of: A Day To Remember, Like Moths To Flames, That's Outrageous
Listen: Facebook

Release date 20.08.2013
Rise Records

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