Sound — 8
This is the debut album from the french Pop Punk group. The album starts off with a borderline Melodic Hardcore song with "Born for Adversity". The group uses a variety of different sounds on this album, ranging from Melodic Hardcore to super poppy Pop Punk. These guys really accentuate the breakdown and use of keys, as well as a Drop B tuning, which needless to say is an odd combination for a Pop Punk band. The breakdowns they incorporate aren't exactly your typical "easycore" breakdown, but more of a heavier vibe. However, their use of keys really make some songs just scream "Pop music!" like in the songs "In Friends We Trust" and "Positiv-O". Overall, its a sound that really will appeal to certain people and confuse others. It is definitely an odd mix, and some people just don't like it, which is understandable. The instrumentation of this album really impresses me. It is a lot more high paced and energetic (reminiscent of Four Year Strong). The rhythm section typically incorporates highly syncopated verses, which are pretty much breakdowns behind the lyrics. The keyboard parts used sometimes are a little out of place. Sink or Swim would definitely benefit from losing the keyboards, but songs like Positiv-O really benefit from their use of keys. The production quality on this record is impeccable. It does get a little cluttered sometimes with the way they layer their parts, but it still sounds great. Overall, I got an impression that the band was going for a mixture between hardcore and poop punk, which in my opinion, they really pulled off. Some parts, I want to sing along, other parts, I want to kick someone's face in. It is a pretty unique sound, and is quite impressive considering it is these guys' first full length album. Granted, overall, it is a bit hectic with the variety of sounds they play, which is a major downside to this album.
Lyrics — 7
One thing that is apparent from the get go is that English is definitely NOT this band's first language. The accent is hard to get by in some parts, other times, they do pretty good with their pronunciation. Some of their lyrics are quite cheesy, for example "Summer Heat" and "Milf" (3 guesses what that song is about). They do manage to throw in some catchy lyrics, like in "In Friends We Trust". The vocalist does have an impressive voice and range, but his screams do leave a little to be desired, but they are quite impressive for the type of music they are playing. The little nuances, like chants and vocal effects, that they throw in really do help to embelish this record and make some parts of the songs really "pop". Overall, the lyrics and screaming leave something to be desired, but they are in no way horrendous.
Overall Impression — 9
The most apparent comparisons to this band would be with fellow French pop punk artist Can't Bear This Party, or A Day to Remember. These guys are miles ahead of the majority of their Pop-punk/easycore contemporaries. Just so you can get a feel for the range that is shown on this album, the songs that are... softer: (Like Hit the Lights) Summer Heat Alex Kid in Miracle World (interlude) For All We Know "Pop"ier: (Pop Punk) *In Friends We Trust *Positiv-O Time's Up! Milf Heavier: (almost Melodic Hardcore) Born for Adversity We Fell Fast *Captain Blood Xoxo In between: (Easycore style) *Sink or Swim Life! *(my favorites) I really do love the use of the dropped tuning and breakdowns on this album. I am not as impressed with the lyrics and some of the vocal performances as well as some keyboard parts. What really stands out to me on this album is their use of transitions. They seamlessly go from one part of a song to another with truly impressive riffs. It really is difficult to describe these guys, so to get the best feel for them, check them out for yourself! Expect these guys to get big in the future, they already have a good sized underground following around the world and the easycore community. Just be warned, their sound really isn't for everybody, but if you are into the pop-punk/easycore scene, these guys really fit the bill. They are playing a few shows in France with Four Year Strong, so these guys will only be going up.