Issues – Issues ★★☆☆☆


Metalcore is a term loosely thrown around to accommodate to a genre that nobody can quite seem to grasp.

However, that’s what Issues label themselves, and they don’t seem to have been able to grasp it too well either.

Since they formed in the summer of 2012, they have taken no prisoners. After slamming themselves onto the scene, it wasn’t long before people started to sit up and take notice. Their never-ending routine of touring, recording and social networking has attracted the attention of fans and musicians worldwide.

Despite currently joining Bring Me The Horizon and Of Mice & Men on the American Dream tour, they have still managed to find time to trick or treat us to a new record with a whole new sound.

Their debut album Issues was released on the 18th of this month and is their first full length album after the release of their Black Diamond EP back in 2013.

In a world full of selfies and hashtags, Issues used it to their advantage by releasing previews of each tracks and snippets of their album artwork in a jigsaw puzzle-like pattern via their Instagram account issuesselftitled

The album is ambitious to say the least. Having already built up a steady foundation of loyal fans and well known friends, they can afford to take the risk.

Combining two-step with dubstep, metalcore met RnB and they begin a seedy affair in a rodent-ridden motel.

The album opens with ‘Sad Ghost’ as frontman Tyler Carter’s voice sails over the top of a tidal wave of thrashing guitars and percussion with a twinkle of piano, adding an eerie  tone to the opening track.

Followed by a shamefully catchy ‘Mad At Myself’ a distraught Tyler sings of being taken advantage by a girl “I’ve got the melody in my head” so have we Tyler, so have we.

‘Late’ is the fifth track  and would not sound out of place on an album from X Factor cast-offs Little Mix. However, don’t let the auto-tune fool you. More than a minute of poorly produced synthesizers, Taylor’s hearty screams take over, taking the track down a completely different path, one in which we are keen to follow like lambs to the slaughter. And slaughter it they do.

By this point, it is becoming tedious and difficult to distinguish one track from the next. It’s not until the ninth track do we hear some progress in ‘Personality Cult’. Drake meets Enter Shikari as Issues make a positive change from their usual nobody-understands-me sob stories as they show some backbone and kick back against trends screaming out ‘this is who we are, a product of war’.

As a whole, the album stumbles from one direction to the next in a drunk-like manner. Whilst predictability is massively overrated, the album tastes like sweet and savoury combined in a home-made three course recipe for disaster.

Credit where it’s due, Issues took on the undeniably difficult task of merging two very different genres. While at times it may sound forced together, their effort should not be dismissed.

Take away the guitars and over-used disc scratch effects and you have a teenage girls diary being read out loud by her snickering older brother. Next time, I would recommend using a padlock on the diary and hiding the key in a safer place.