For Fans Of
Ronnie Radke is a colossal dick head. He’s either the badass frontman that you’d want from a band such as Falling In Reverse or he’s the world’s biggest wanker, ruining it for everyone else, and either of his personas usually have something to do with how many substances are allegedly present or absent in his blood stream at that particular time. But hey, fuck character assassination, we’re here for the music, right?! Damn right, so let’s waddle through the knee high level of mediocrity that is the group’s third album, ‘Just Like You’.
Three albums in and what was originally just a dumb poppy, post-hardcore side-project that didn’t have much potential from an equally loved and hated singer has now turned into a massive, somewhat decent post-hardcore project from an equally loved and hated singer. ‘Just Like You’, which has a cover that would make you think that Steel Panther just dropped a brand new comedy routine, is average at its very best. It’s nothing that new from the Ronnie Radke Half-Hour Show, as the synth and pop elements remain constant, and the cliche heavier moments are still nothing to write home about. At its core, it’s still all about Radke so no real surprises there. While the album isn’t great, it’s a lot better than the audible cancer that was this shite and whatever the hell this was. But enough beating around the heavily tattooed bush, let’s get to the songs.
You know how Escape The Fate had that series of ‘Guillotine‘ tracks on their first three albums that were the odd ones out for being well and truly the heaviest songs in the band’s catalogue? Well, Radke and co. have decided to take it upon themselves to close that book for their peers with ‘Guillotine IV (The Final Chapter)’… because Monte Money is a dick? Who knows anymore! Just like Escape The Fate, this is by far one of the heaviest tracks the band has under their belts right now. And it’s not a bad song, but it’s definitely far from the heaviest thing you’ll hear in 2015, and it’s very typical metalcore by today’s standards, but hey, points for effort and what not. However, any sense of strength and sway that that track may have had is all undermined as it has some pretty faulty clones that need to be taken back to the drawing board before consumers start demanding their money back.
‘Stay Away’ and ‘Die For You’ try their hands at being heavy but both feel so uninspired and lacking that the group might as well of not even bothered. Another song that tried to be heavy yet falls flat is the odd-ball, ‘Wait And See‘. This is a track that is so bipolar in its styles that you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that it got let out of therapy a bit too early. What starts off as an urban, hip-hop track soon explodes into another dense breakdown slog, before bringing in the clean choruses to get all the kiddies singing along, then all bets are off for its final minute. Some bands like Crossfaith and Enter Shikari blend genres together really well.
But here it’s almost as bad as Design The Skyline. Well, almost. Nothing is as bad as… that.
Moving on, The Ronnie Radke Scene Extravaganza have written some real shockers (here) and on this record, it’s ‘Sexy Drug‘. This is just so cringe-worthy with its mind-numbingly poppy tones and sexual, mindless teenage lyrics, that it’s just bad, in the same vein of how ‘Situations‘ was one of the worst songs from the Radke era of Escape The Fate. However, ‘Brother‘ is at the other end of the quality spectrum. This sees the band, or rather just Radke, take on a dynamic, emotional ballad and it’s probably the closest thing we are ever going to get to the band actually having something this interesting, this intimate, and this meaningful to say. Thus, this is easily the best song off the album because it’s Radke actually being vulnerable and open with some very personal subject matter that not everyone may know about after a few clicks on the Google machine.
The title track is an interesting mix. Musically, it’s as poppy, as catchy and as commercial as Falling In Reverse could ever be but the lyrics aren’t quite so conventional. The song is basically Radke stating that yes; he knows he’s a giant douche canoe, he knows that he just blamed it on his addictions, that he’s sort of sorry for it, and that he’s trying to better himself, and that maybe we’re all assholes in the end? Hey, good for you man! But cleaning up your act and trying to be a better human being doesn’t mean that your band’s latest album is going to be the bee’s knees of 2015. Because it sure as shit isn’t.
Performance wise, the band is all fine. Radke can still sing really fucking well and his intonation is superb. It’s just a shame most of the content that comes out of his mouth isn’t all that great. But seriously, fuck Radke, guitarist Jacky Vincent should be the real star of the band for my money. This guy shreds like few others can and his tight, slick guitar playing is definitely the main saving grace of the outfit. The solos in ‘Chemical Prisoner’ and ‘Die For You‘ are definite standouts of his playing, in fact, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that most of the band’s songs are his standouts in terms of his musicianship. Kudos Mr Vincent, one day you’ll (hopefully) get the spotlight you deserve.
‘Just Like You’ is like a feral dog trying to play fetch – whenever you throw the stick it runs a couple of metres then just rolls over, proceeds to shit itself and die. It’s such a shame that the few good songs the album produces are undermined by the god-awful shit that Falling In Reverse are ever increasingly known for delivering to the masses. Maybe one day they’ll finally get it right and if not, well, at least we still have Escape The Fate…right? RIGHT?!
1. Chemical Prisoner
2. God, If You’re Above
3. Sexy Drug
4. Just Like You
5. Guillotine IV (The Final Chapter)
6. Stay Away
7. Wait And See
The Bitter End
8. My Heart’s To Blame
9. Get Me Out
10. Die For You