To be honest, I’ve never really liked Abandon All Ships. I was introduced to them by a girl that I dated in 2010, the same year they released their debut. This was when my love for Attack Attack! was at its peak, so there honestly couldn’t have been a better time for Abandon All Ships to come into the picture. Although I completely respected the ideals and progressiveness of Geeving, I only truly enjoyed listening to one song off the album, Take One Last Breath. I loved (and actually still do) the melodic trance that they put into that song and the atmospheric catchiness the song has. I mean, besides the fact that both of the vocalists in that song suck, it’s pretty damn epic! When someone brings the band up (which rarely happens), I always make it a point to mention that particular song because I’ve never gotten tired of it (although I almost never listen to it)!
Ok, so two years later, the Canadian screamo band is back with their follow-up (notice that I didn’t say anything suggesting that it was strongly anticipated in any way). One thing that I’ve always known about this band is that they’ve been closely involved with (brace yourselves)……the crunkcore scene. Not only is their main influence Attack Attack! (definitely a bad band to have as your MAIN influence, but not a bad band) but they’ve taken the whole mixing techno and screamo thing to a COMPLETELY new level!
In order to avoid any false accusations, I know for a fact that mixing techno and metal can be pulled off. I either enjoy or appreciate the bands that do a good job of that, like Attack Attack!, Asking Alexandria, and I See Stars (I guess I never noticed how small the list was).
Here’s the thing with this new Abandon All Ships record. You know the whole “attitude” that most rappers and male pop singers have, the “I’m so badass you don’t know what you’re messin’ with” kind of attitude? Why the fuck is it that I get the same “I’m so badass” vibe that I get when I’m listening to rap? I decided to look up some of the much more recent live videos of these guys, and their vocalist is making the EXACT same body movements and hand movements that people like Eminem and Snoop Dogg make!! Ok, I’ll admit that I do listen to some rap (mainly just Tech N9NE, Cypress Hill, early ICP, Kottonmouth Kings, old Snoop Dogg, old Eminem, and Kings of the City) and, to be honest, the “I’m so badass” attitude actually fits the music in most cases! That’s just the feel that a lot of rap gives me! But in this case, it just doesn’t fucking fit! Oh, and get this: they actually have a guest rapper in the second song! GO MOTHERFUCKING FIGURE!!
So with the lead vocalist with the attitude of a black gangsta rapper, we now have the singer that has the attitude and style of Chris Brown (whom I’m not familiar with AT ALL, I’ve only listened to his music once and it was on some late-night comedy TV show). And I’ll be honest AGAIN: I enjoy a couple of pop artists/band (much fewer than rap ones). But pretty much all of them are females, so I guess that doesn’t really improve my chances of appreciating this guy.
Since this is a screamo band where the techno/pop elements are very important, let’s take a moment to analyze them. In Geeving (if you took the time to run through it a couple of times, especially Take One Last Breath), the kind of techno used in there was trance. For those of you that have no fucking idea what the hell “trance” is, it’s extremely melodic, ambient, and atmospheric techno music that just sounds like a sheet of clouds flying over you; it can actually be VERY beautiful and relaxing. Anyways, that was the thing that they did in Geeving, which I though was fairly innovative and creative since I’d never heard it in metal before. Infamous doesn’t have any of that at all. There are some bands that have that really cheesy bubble-gum techno/pop in their music, which is the kind of thing that you can find in A COUPLE songs off this album. But that’s not really the main thing.
The type of pop (it’s not even techno) that Infamous has is the type that the BIGGEST and most mainstream MALE pop singers do. But since I’m not familiar at all with that kind of thing (I seem to have to repeat myself a lot to people that I’ve been almost completely disconnected with the mainstream for the past four and a half years, I only KNOW OF Justin Bieber, I’ve never heard his music!). But from the amount of male pop songs that I’ve heard (the amount having less than two digits), it’s enough for me to easily make the connection. Also, in some of the songs (the first track in particular), the keyboards play that “I’m so motherfucking badass” sounding shit that you hear in the really poppy rap music!
The song structures do have signs of organization, but there are still a lot of transitions that are way too sudden for me. The individual musicians suck, but as a band, they’re not what I would call TOTALLY weak. There are some parts that actually got my head nodding…but not for long. Whenever they seem to have a really catchy part going, they apparently realize that and attempt to prolong the moment by simply dragging it out until I’d rather take a papercut to the eyeball than listen to that chugging riff that had long since lost its catchiness. I really don’t like either vocalist from Geeving, and that statement remains the same with Infamous. That’s the ironic thing, the title fits the album a little TOO accurately, which I know wasn’t originally intended by the band. This album is just disgusting. There isn’t anyone that I would recommend this INFAMOUS piece of SHIT to NO ONE. This one gets 4/20.