For Fans Of
Ice Nine Kills have been around for a while now, for a band of their ilk. Many of the bands from the last decade that walked the line between commercial pop-punk and post-hardcore influences have all but faded away with the market. (Let’s avoid saying the “s-word” if we can.)
The band is (apparently) still going strong, however, and their most recent effort ‘The Predator’ shows a rare bit of progression from a relatively static band. It stands out as a curiosity amongst the albums I’ve stumbled upon to review – much like Hawthorne Heights’ Hope EP, it’s a band that I treasured in my adolescence that seemed to disappear for just the right number of years that I’d near lost interest.
Upon listening, the first three tracks show a change of direction for the band – rather than their mid-2000’s feel, it brings to mind more melodic and commercially oriented metalcore acts such as We Came as Romans, I See Stars and Asking Alexandia. I’m not a fan.
It seems it’s a jump from one tired and oversaturated sound to another. The record then segues into the band’s cover of Adelle’s ‘Someone Like You.’ This seems another somewhat hackneyed move … the format and sound reminds one of A Day to Remember’s cover of Kelly Clarkson. A lot has happened in music since then. They’re probably up to the twelfth itineration of Punk goes Pop now, and the novelty has worn off.
The final track is a return to their old form with ‘What I Never Learned in Study Hall,’ a continuation of the “Study Hall” song arc that the band has been writing since 2006.
It’s welcome, if for nothing but nostalgia.
Perhaps "going strong" was a presumptuous line … "plodding on" is more appropriate. It’s certainly not a bad EP, and the production is quite exceptional for another self-release from the band. However, they seem to be lacking direction and clinging to long-dead trends. Regardless of how close they may be firing to their target market, it just seems like drudgery. You would only recommend this album to someone already familiar with the band for nostalgia’s sake, as one can’t see this decade’s kids picking up on it.
1. The Coffin is Moving
2. Father’s Day
3. A Reptile’s Dysfunction
4. Someone Like You
5. What I Never Learned in Study Hall