Thursday, July 28, 2011

"We Stitch These Wounds" by Black Veil Brides - Serious Snark Review

A hybrid review! While I tried to be analytical towards today's subject, I found myself unable to keep a straight narrative voice, and thus the strange blend of comedy and criticism you see before you arises.

Believe it or not, that IS a guy on the cover. I was surprised too.

So today's review is a bit of a treat. While my past reviews of books and movies have ranged from mixed to negative, the lowest I've ever really placed an album I reviewed was Endgame by Rise Against, and even then I spent a good deal of time praising a large chunk of the album. This is mostly because, while I can usually force myself through a bad movie just by making fun of it, I have difficulty making it through an entire album from a band I hate. But I figure variety is the spice of life and thusly decided to review the first album by the infamous post-hardcore band Black Veil Brides.

For those of you lucky enough to have never heard of these musical wastes of oxygen, here's a quick history. Headed by Andy "Sixx" Biersak (The very effeminate young man pictured on the cover) they've been around since about 2006, gaining a big following among the Hot Topic crowd the past year or so. This is them:

Only one person in this picture has a cervix.

Yeah, it's safe to say we're not dealing with subtle artists here. I mean dear god, just look at them. How can you even take that seriously? When you're making Twisted Sister look masculine, you have some problems. This isn't to say that people trying to be androgynous is bad, just that these people are doing it very, very wrong.

Track 1: The Outcasts (Calls To Arms)
Just the title of this pisses me off. I've never understood the use of parenthesis in song names. With the exception of the song ((Holy Shit) I Can't Believe I Still Don't Have) A Girlfriend) it's always seemed melodramatic and stupid. But that's just a nitpick. Now we move into the music. If you can even stand to call it that. This track is just an intro, with some spoken word recording that I'm sure would have been an interesting way to start an album 30 years ago before every Metal band in existence had done it. Way to innovate guys.

It's gonna be a long one, isn't it?

Track 2: We Stitch These Wounds
Oh hey, another power-chord heavy intro that sounds like something off of nearly any metalcore album to come out in the last 10 years. And the vocals are clearly altered in post because there's no way an inexperienced vocalist like Sixx could managed anything like this. Also, maybe I'm just wanting to listen to some better music, but I swear the clean vocals sound like Weird Al. I've honestly and truly heard Goregrind bands that could make a catchier melody than these morons. You know how people will criticize a movie or book for having cliche and overly-familiar story telling elements? That's basically what I have to say for this entire song. I mean, at least bands like brokeNCYDE and Design the Skyline are bad in an interesting kind of way. This just sounds like I'm listening to a 3 Days Grace song with bad speakers.

Track 3: Beautiful Remains
Okay, I've gotta say it. These song titles are so bland I swear they were taken from the titles of poems written by goth kids on LiveJournal. All I'm asking for here is a little ingenuity. A little tiny bit of creativity and originality to give this band's music any type of discernible character. I don't get it from this song. I am honestly not convinced I'm listening to a real band. I am damn near convinced somebody just took a bunch of random interchangeable deathcore and metalcore bands and put their songs in random order on an album. I'm already out of things to say to this. The drumming is the typical metalcore "just drum in really quick bursts throughout the whole song" style, the vocalist is so covered up in post that I would never be able to discern his real voice, and the guitar work is uninspired. Nothing is cathy enough to stick in your head. Hell, I've been listening to the song while I've been writing this, and I can't even remember how it began. Eating a bowl of packing peanuts with water would leave more of an impact on me than this song.

Track 4: Children Surrender
I have a bit of a conundrum. Can you fail at something you weren't trying to do in the first place. I really want to say that this band fails utterly at being engaging or emotionally sincere in their musical delivery, but I feel that saying that would be giving them to much credit. Because they damn sure aren't trying. If they were, there would have been SOME sort of discernible change in Sixx's vocals between these songs. But no, not at all. You could have switched the vocal tracks for these songs and I would not have known the difference save for the inflection. I am fishing blindly for SOMETHING to write about this, but there is nothing at all here. I mean for the love of the gods, H.I.M. has more going for them than Black Veil Brides

Track 5: Perfect Weapon
Okay, maybe things will look up. This is a single from the album after all. Singles are usually the songs that are made more catchy and palatable in order to draw an audience. That has to mean there will be SOMETHING different that sets this song apart from the ones before it, right? Right? Nope. That would imply these sacks of mediocrity had some sense of intelligence. Hell, I'm not entirely sure they have the ability to make their music sound distinct. The drumming and guitar works is near identical to the last 4 songs. How do you manage that? Statistically you would have to, by sheer chance, stumble upon some sort of melody that hasn't already been done. I can't tell you how generic this song is, especially the solo that is obviously phoned in.

Track 6: Knives And Pens
It's official, I'm listening to a Bullet For My Valentine album in disguise. Nobody else could possibly have such an unerring ability to make every single song completely absurd in its banality. They're not trying anymore, if they ever were. There's nothing here special or interesting or worth merit. I would listen to practically anything else instead of this if given the choice because nothing could possibly be as generic as this song. From the long, autotuned to hell "woah" in the chorus to Sixx's pathetic attempts at growling to the psuedo-deathcore drum work, everything needed to make a cliche filled pile of drivel is here.

Track 7: The Mortician's Daughter
Well, at the very least we get a little variety with this song. It's an acoustic song because these people have no original ideas, so they might as well copy the Insincere Sweet Sounding "Heart-felt" acoustic Ballad that has been a cop-out staple since the late 80's. Sweet Buttery Jesus I cannot impress upon you how boring this song is. This track is so dull it makes Built To Spill sound like arena rock. This is what happens when the criminally untalented attempt to be deep; a beige nightmare of stale nothingness that leaves your head as soon as it's over, if it ever managed to hold your attention to begin with.

Track 8: All Your Hate
Aaaaaand we're right back where we started again. Boring, unoriginal chord progression, lack-luster drumming, and a dull as dog crap vocal performance. There's nothing else to add here. To paraphrase South Park, if boredom were made of strawberries, we'd all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now.

Track 9: Heaven's Calling
I swear this is the same song as the last one. It starts off nearly identically, the vocals come in at the same time, and they follow the same exact pattern. I usually gauge how bad music is by asking myself the question "Would I have made the same observations when I was 14 when I was just getting into music?" and that helps me tell where something stands. After all, back then I had very different taste, and was a lot more vulnerable to listening to crap (I'm still a bit ashamed about my Linking Park phase) but I can proudly say even when I was just first searching out music, I would have found this characterless drivel boring. 

Track 10: Never Give In
I'm out of stuff to say. Completely. You want a description of this song? Take anything I've said about the last 8 tracks and just copy/paste it below this paragraph. That would essentially simulate what I feel right now as I subject myself to this duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuulllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll pile of rat feces that these flamboyantly dressed mutants expect people to enjoy.

Track 11: Sweet Blasphemy
I've been listening to this album on youtube, rather than downloading it and listening to it on my MP3 player as I usually do. This is because I refused to sully my computer's hard drive with such worthlessness. I bring this up because over the entire time I've been listening to it, I've been reading some of the youtube comments, and they are far more interesting than anything in this song that's the same as the last one and the one before it and blah, blah, blah. People have been constantly and consistently praising these creative vacuums and on this one, somebody actually said this music is "epic". I won't get into my issues with people overusing that word to the point of meaningless. Instead I'll simply say that anyone who is capable of calling this song "epic" in even the most banal of senses, should have their ears and frontal lobes removed, because clearly they would be put to better use feeding the homeless.

Track 12: Carolyn
This song is exactly like the other acoustic track with minor differences but guess what  I don't care because I'm finally fucking done with this piece of shit.

So yeah, this album, and this band, are worthless. Every last thing they do with their sound has been done before, and done better. They contribute nothing, absolutely nothing to music. The only thing even slightly interesting is their image, and even that's only because of their severe lack of shame or dignity. Avoid this band, avoid ever giving them any money or support. Let them die like the worthless fad that they are.

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