The album cover is intentionally similar to the cover of their self-titled EP, which consists of a face that has a freshly-cut “chelsea grin”. I’m not letting the cover influence my opinion on the record itself (although it wouldn’t make my opinion any more positive if I did), but this album cover SUCKS! Yes, the cover of your self-titled EP was 100% appropriate and I wouldn’t have chosen any other album cover, but this is an embarrassment to visual art! On top of that, the logo has been squished in order to put the record title right above it (why? I don’t know) without blocking the face (which it kind of does anyway). But enough of me bitching about the artwork, let’s just get this thing over with.
Usually I do a track-by-track review with EPs, but even I, Crinn, am not strong enough to be able to dissect and analyze each track with great detail and make it out alive or with the ability to hear. The first thing that I’m noticing is that Chelsea Grin is deciding to take on the recent trend of implementing symphonic and orchestral elements into their music, which was pioneered by Winds of Plague. Then, we also have a HUGE increase in the number of breakdowns in each song (averaging at about…4-6 breakdowns per song).
I can SORT OF see what they’re trying to do, but when you look at it from an overall perspective, what each musician is trying to do is very confusing and doesn’t match-up when put back together. The guitarists seem to have completely lost focus. They’re looking to be more progressive and “avant-garde” than good, which is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard of because you can’t just try to be progressive and have it end up well. Do you think that THE ONLY thing on the minds of Iwrestledabearonce was being fast, random, and technical? No! Iwrestledabearonce still shows a shitload of focus on song structure, skill, being tight, and solid performance. Once they get that down, THEN they start doing stuff like wearing cowboy hats and giving songs names like Karate Nipples. Chelsea Grin just do what’s already second nature to them (deathcore) and are making honest attempts at being progressive and FAILING MISERABLY AT IT!
Thankfully, the vocals aren’t as loud as they were in My Damnation, but even then, that isn’t really saying much. The drums are a little bit better, but they still don’t even have enough color or catchiness to them to keep me awake. Everything besides the atrocious attempts at melody, singing (yes, singing), and atmosphere seems to just be outright BORING! There isn’t any taste to this record at all! This EP IS HORRIBLE! DO NOT BUY THIS! There is nothing you haven’t heard before on this record, and everything on here that you haven’t heard before is better left untouched and forgotten. I would give this record 1/20.