For Fans Of
There aren’t many debut albums nowadays that come with as much expectation as The Drug In Me Is You has. For anyone that doesn’t know, Falling In Reverse is fronted by ex-Escape The Fate frontman Ronnie Radke. As history lessons go, this will be brief. Radke formed a band in 2004 called Escape The Fate, in 2006 they released an album titled Dying Is Your Latest Fashion, which put them on the map. However, in 2007, after multiple run ins with the law and then a prison sentence Radke was kicked out of the band.
After 2 and a half years in jail, Radke is back with his new band, Falling In Reverse. Fans of Radke from the Dying Is Your Latest Fashion era are hoping that this will be some sort of version 2. It is safe to say whether you are hoping for a comeback or just looking for a fun pop-metalcore/post hardcore album…you may be left disappointed.
The album opener “Raised By Wolves” which was already released shows a band with a lot of promise. Radke’s vocals sound as crisp and clean as they used to and are very well suited to the style of music the band are playing. He is a great vocalist, no one can deny that, but it becomes increasingly obvious from the very beginning that the band has definitely noticed this too. It is clear that Radke’s vocals are the element that is going to carry the whole album. But when they are the only point of interest 90% of the time they become tired and leave the audience with nothing to hold their attention.
The album follows a very simple structure. Chugging instrumentation during the verses that are carried by Radke’s vocals, big layered choruses (the only complete sounding part of the tracks), generic metalcore breakdowns, see-how-fast-my-fingers-can-move guitar solos for effect, and maybe a piano or synth section for good measure- the last three may appear in any order and any number of times during each track. This formula may work in small doses, but when every song is structured the same way it becomes obvious the band have no versatility.
You will also find three common themes floating through every song; stabs at Escape The Fate (“You bring a picture of me every time you get a haircut/ Imposter), sex (in the cheesiest way possible “I just wanna kiss your lips/ The ones between your hips”) or life problems (“I’ve been cheated I’ve been sued but I have lived to tell/ The more you kicked me when I’m down the more it truly helps).
It is safe to say the lyric writing for this album is poor. The songs that are meant to be heartfelt seem all too manufactured, the songs that are meant to be cheeky and fun just sound cheesy and ridiculous and the songs that are meant to be angry and hate filled cut less than a plastic knife to a piece of cement. When all else fails throw in a group harmony of “lalala” to fill in some space, or even better, sing the lyrics at such a fast pace people find it difficult to actually understand them (re: “Pick Up The Phone”). At least no one can criticise them then.
There is a lot of emphasis on the vocals and lyrics in this review, and that is because they are obviously made to be the focus of the album. The band should be renamed Ronnie Radke and the Other Guys. For the most part the instrumentation is actually okay. Minus the cringe worthy (and way too frequent) solos that even the keyboardist had to get into at one stage (see “Raised By Wolves”).
However disappointing this album is, the band does show potential. There has to be something positive about a man who ruined his life and is now trying to put it back together. Somewhere in the vast abyss of mediocre sections that make up this album, there is promise. Radke’s vocals are a lot better then they were in the past, overall the band can play their instruments well, and if you listen to tracks like “The Drug In Me Is You” you can see that the band can make a catchy song with a pop-like hook in the chorus that will get stuck in your head.
The Drug In Me Is You, for the most part, is a disappointment. Falling In Reverse’s attempt to create catchy post-hardcore/metalcore is, a lot of the time, cut off at the knees by the fact that the music relies so heavily on its need to be catchy. And fearing it doesn’t hit this mark, Radke will sing it to you loudly and try and convince you otherwise, “Magically/ I turned tragedy/Into melodies/Over catchy beats/It comes so naturally/That’s why they call me King Of The Music Scene”. However, if you simply take the choruses into account this is a band that shows a lot of potential and could grow to release something memorable. Or maybe that is just wishful thinking.
1. Raised By Wolves
2. Tragic Magic
3. The Drug In Me is You
4. I’m Not a Vampire
5. Good Girls Bad Guys
6. Pick Up the Phone
7. Don’t Mess With Ouija Boards
8. Sink or Swim
9. Caught Like a Fly
10. Goodbye Graceful
11. The Westerner