Sound — 6
I See Stars, the musical misfists on Sumerian Records, made a ton of buzz with their album 3-D. It was recieved well amongst the music community for its originality, stylistic mix of genres, and downright catchiness. That said, their follow up album had a LOT of expectations to fill. Unfortunately, not only doesn't it meet them, it fails in almost every area that 3-D triumphed. The overall sound could be described as far more poppy. Less breakdowns, less screaming, less leaving the Forever The Sickest Kids comfort zone. The album can be catchy at times, but for the most part is an extreme letdown. One of the few highlights of the album is the guitar work, which fluctuates from jittery soloing to low end chord work.
Lyrics — 3
This area is where the albums fails worst copared to 3-D. The first album had catchy, witty, and meaningful lyrics on various topics, from living life to the fullest, coming under control of the media, and the obligatory (but very well executed) life as a touring band number. The End Of The World Party goes for lowest common denominator this run around. No intriguing moments at all, mostly just a celebration of partying and girl lust. Songs like Home for the Weekend and Wonderland are so horribly written lyrically I can barely believe it's the band that churned out any of their previous songs. Vocally, this is also a diappointment. The vocals are auto-tuned to hell and back, and the screams, while decent, are very sparce in this release.
Overall Impression — 5
I've been looking forward to the release of this CD for quite some time now, but I must say it is extremely displeasing on every level. From a band that had offered such an original take on Post-Hardcore, they have only succeeded in surrendering that title in favor of that of another generic Pop-Punk band. The only songs on this album that even appeal to me are the title track, The Common Hours II, and Wonderland. If you're new to I See Stars or an old fan wanting to check out the new material, trust me, just put 3-D on repeat and hope they get their stuff together for their next release. Recommended for fans of Forever The Sickest Kids, The Maine, Close To Home and A Day To Remember.