Woe, Is Me


Written by: TL on 20/01/2013 18:11:18

When they first achieved relative fame back around 2010, Atlanta septet (now sextet) Woe, Is Me did so mainly because their singer Tyler Carter sounded similar to Jonny Craig and because they had a silly tendency to put commas and brackets in strange places. These days, the most remarkable thing about them is that their wikipedia entry now spends as much text talking about people who have left the band as it does about people who are still currently in it. Carter and screamer Michael Bohn left to form Issues, others did for different reasons, and currently drummer Austin Thornton and rhythm guitarist Kevin Hanson are the only remaining original members of the band.

I will not lie: I think Woe, Is Me are a joke - a poor excuse for a band - and I think their second album "Genesi[s]" only serves as a second reason for you to think the same. Because it is essentially one very long breakdown. The genre-typical, generic and gimmicky theatrical samples never have any real presence, and by the time new clean singer Hance Alligood makes an appearance - which does not happen until halfway into track three by the way - his vocals are dubbed to the point of him not sounding like a real person and his parts fit with the previous rumbling about as well as if you were listening to nu-metal radio and suddenly a pop-punk station interfered with the signal.

So yeah, the main course here is chugging, chugging and more chugging, of the obnoxious, simplified variety the only 'merit' of which is that it has every trick of the production trade applied to make sure it sounds as mean, monstrous and echoing as technologically possible. I'd rather seek refuge then, in the brief bits of bright melody that accompanies Alligood's appearances, but unfortunately his parts, although clearly the ones closest to being bearable, at best amount to reminding me of Broadway's disastrous "Gentlemen's Brawl" in all their faux-poppunkness.

The sole exceptions come late in form of "Call It Like You See It" and "Family First", in which Alligood does manage some halfway decent melodies, and is uninterupted for long enough to mark the first time during the album when I'm not desperately hoping for it to end soon. Both of them earn half a mark each, but no more, because it's clear that their likeability is largely established on the monotonous backdrop created by the relentless slamming that has dominated everything before them. And in fact, calling it like I see (hear) it, I think Woe, Is Me's foremost 'quality' is that they make other bad musicians sound better by comparison, so my best advice in relation to them is: Don't let your pre-teen little brother become a fan of these guys! Now for the love of music - and for the love of grammar - somebody pull the plug on this, trave[s]ty.


Download: Call It Like You See It, Family First
For The Fans Of: Issues, We Came As Romans, A Day To Remember
Listen: facebook.com/woeis

Release Date 20.11.2012
Velocity/Rise Records

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