I’ll sure drink to this new Issues banger!
Earlier this year, Issues dropped ‘Tapping Out‘, a somewhat average track that felt like a less-punchy, flatter take on what Issues already do. It really lacked the “it” factor that so many of their other songs possess, and the absence of former screamer, Michael Bohn, was blatantly apparent in it. (My favourite thing from that related article was some dude on our Facebook saying that I was “virtue signalling” about the band and Michael, which was downright hilarious.) However, skipping forward to now, that’s not the case with the group’s newest barn-burner, ‘Drink About It‘, which is a complete 180-degree turn in quality to their last single.
‘Drink About It‘ has all of Tyler Carter’s catchy pop-vocals and the chilled, electro R&B vibes that we expect from Issues by now, but it also comes packaged with these darker, djentier tones as well. While the song has this defeated feeling of being cheated on and lied to, it’s also got this swagger, this sass to it, and that feeling of “cutting loose” and seeing through the other persons BS works in tandem with those slick, slicing riffs and bouncy grooves. Sure, it’s maybe a little more straight-forward in structure and sound then past Issues songs, but that simplicity is so goddamn effective.
Drummer Josh Manuel and bassist Skyler Acord are grooving so fuckin’ hard, locking the track down in a deadly, air-tight manner and getting all kinds of funky. I also can’t get enough of the former’s sixteenth note hi-hat flourishes in the verses, as well as the latter’s wicked bass tone, let alone how they let the groove fall away before bringing it back harder at some points. And man, don’t even get me started on the wicked, syncopated triplets thrown into that second pre-chorus either. Now, whilst guitarist AJ Robello is a good screamer – not better or worse than Michael, just different – ‘Drink About It‘ really benefits from him not having any vocals here. Besides, I don’t see where they could’ve placed his screams on this one, not without adding another section and thus perhaps ruining the flow of the overall song. ‘Drink About It‘ also feels like the right justification for their split with Michael, too.
There’s also some great little details to note as well. Like the acoustic guitar strums in the bridge and outro that only pop out after a few listens. The well-produced, trappy beats heard near the end. Or like how we get a great taste for the finale before it even hits; seeing the bridge first introduce the outro’s closing lyrical sentiments, as well as ushering in that massive string section, before both parts get layered over one another with the chorus for one hell of a finish. In short, there’s a lot to like about this banger!
For their next album, ‘Beautiful Oblivion‘, which drops October 4th via Rise Records, Issues worked with big-time rock producer Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, Three Days Grace, Skillet, Flyleaf, etc.) Which in all honesty, set alarm bells off in my head at first, as I feared that Howard’s input would smother this band’s cooler, weirder elements, as per their killer 2016 LP, ‘Headspace.’ After ‘Tapping Out,’ I felt that quite heavily, but after jamming (and now loving) ‘Drink About It,’ there’s still hope yet. I’m also now not sure what to expect from ‘Beautiful Oblivion‘, but I’m quite intrigued nonetheless to see what else may come.