Escape The Fate

Hate Me

Written by: TL on 09/12/2015 16:57:22

Las Vegas mallcore group Escape The Fate is nothing if not a stubborn project. As much is clear from the fact that we have it back again this year, with a fifth album poetically dubbed "Hate Me", despite the fact that the band's line-up continues to be a revolving door. The Money brothers, Michael and Monte on guitars, left only a few month's after the release of 2013's "Ungrateful", and presently drummer Robert Ortiz and singer Craig Mabbitt are the only members to remain in the same roles as they've performed in on a previous Escape The Fate album.

More so than anything else then, it figures that it is the band's reasonable amount of commercial success that has kept the band playing for second album on Eleven Seven. Because while the Money brothers at least contributed with some lively guitar shenanigans to give "Ungrateful" a sprinkling of enjoyable moments, the current Escape The Fate constellation seems 100% content with writing songs by formula, only allowing new guitarist Kevin 'Thraser' Gruft to flourish in very limited parts, such as in the almost Dragonforce-like tapping extravaganza that comes after a truly awkward tempo change in the later half of opener "Just A Memory". While it serves most artists well to at least learn songwriting conventions and use them as a basis for their own ideas and modifications, Escape The Fate simply fill in the blanks here, doing only a bare minimum to throw some simplistic riffs in and dress their expression up like some sort of 'diet shock rock'. This means that even a song like "Live For Today", which starts out like a decently chunky radio rock tune, goes on complete autopilot when the chorus comes around, and still somehow manages to be arguably the closest the record has to a worthwhile song.

In terms of how much they surprise you, and how much edge and energy they have, the songs on "Hate Me" are rock's equivalent to Katy Perry songs, bar the very sparsely applied screams, which rarely find noteworthy use outside of "Just A Memory" and "Les Enfants Terrible (The Terrible Children)", and only in super generic, screamed verse/clean chorus patterns. Songs like "Remember Every Scar" and "Let Me Be" are hollow 'whoa-oh tracks', and while Mabbitt sings capably across the album, the lyrics feel like he hasn't even been trying - and mind you, he was never a particularly fantastic lyricist to begin with. "Like fire we burn through the night". "I'm gonna fuck you up and set your world on fire". Nice. Who even thinks like that with a straight face?

The only halfway good reason to listen to this record is that producer Howard Benson has done a decent job. Not that he has managed to make Escape The Fate seem like they have even a hint of personality in their sound at this point, but at least the mix and power of the sound feels premium, and like someone has done what they could to boost whatever little that works on the album. Really though, Escape The Fate have completely lost any grasp of relevance on this one. It's music for high schoolers, and more specifically for a very particular type of high schooler; Namely the periphal members of the rebel clichés, who follow edgy types around because it's cool and fall for lyrics with the kind of vague outsider bullshit this record is soaked in, yet will inevitably discover in a few years time, that they don't really care for rock music the way they enjoy simple one hit wonders on the radio.

Download: Live For Today
For The Fans Of: Papa Roach, Falling In Reverse, Black Veil Brides

Release date 30.10.2015
Eleven Seven

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