Sound — 9
"The Drug In Me Is You" is (ex-Escape The Fate) Ronnie Radke's sophomore full length record and first through new band Falling In Reverse. Having been absent from the music scene for some years he hopes to emerge as 'king of the music scene' - to quote his lyrics - and this record, while lacking depth and certain freshness in comparison to other recent releases of the same scene/genre is still a pretty solid effort. Producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette returns as producer for Ronnie (also producer of Escape The Fate's 2006 EP and full-length), and does a great job in crafting the anthemic rock-n-roll sound that the band are trying to convey. Instruments are sharp and well captured, percussion is solid, bass is deep and the often well-written guitar leads and melodies are seamlessly executed. Vocals are often strong and stamped with the passion that made Ronnie Radke such a popular frontman in the first place, and the introduction of various synth parts and an instance of drum sampling are welcome additions to the mix.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrically the album serves largely as an auto-biography for Ronnie and this is where the album is sometimes let down. Casual listeners and people new to the front-man's work could easily be forgiven for thinking that much of the egotistical and sometimes overly simplistic lyrics serve as less of fan fare and more the singer's self-indulgency. Many of the tracks serve as angsty retorts to the singer's previous band with some shallow blows "you're such a dumb f--k, you need to shut up, you take a picture of me every time you get your hair cut" being aimed at Craig Mabbitt, his replacent in Escape The Fate whom Ronnie believes stole his place and tried to mimic his every style. Opener "Raised By Wolves" serves as Ronnie's return to the scene and references various Escape The Fate song titles - particularly from their first release after his departure - "This War Is Ours", declaring "This War Is Mine". Pop-belters "The Drug In Me Is You" and "Good Girls Bad Guys" serve as great single material with hook-laden melodies and sing-along choruses whilst the fantastic "I'm Not A Vampire" and "Pick Up The Phone" are examples of excellently crafted songs and show great promise for future releases. Heavier tracks "Don't Mess With Ouija Boards", "Sink Or Swim" and "Goodbye Graceful" are your standard breakdown screamed-vocal to poppy chorus affair and will definitely please fans of the singer's harder work. Deeply personal "Caught Like A Fly" and "The Westerner" are two equally interesting tracks and a change for the album, both centered around the singers accused betrayal by the hands of his former band "I've been beaten I've been bruised I was left for dead as well, I was wrongfully accused you left me locked inside a cell" and both have strong choruses and strong musicianship from the band.
Overall Impression — 8
A large amount of excellent guitar-work, a few ear-catching basslines and memorable vocal melodies are good enough reasons to check this band out, and fans of Ronnie Radke's previous work will be right at home here. As for attracting newcomers, the release doesn't stray too far from what listeners may expect from the frontman but his newly formed line-up are a solid bunch of musicians. This record will certainly not propel Ronnie to the top of the music scene but it's a solid hard-rock fix. Here's to hoping they grow and develop their sound in time for their next release, because at this rate they could develop into something special. Notable tracks: "I'm Not A Vampire", "Good Girls Bad Guys", "Pick Up The Phone".