Bad News

Oh dear. As much as I dug the debut from these Massachusetts metalcore lads and as much as I actually like the guys themselves after meeting them and subsequently staying in contact with them, it pains me to write this review.

I knew something was awry when I saw the cover, but I held out hope for the music, but alas the opening title track confirmed my fears. I hope it’s merely a sophomore slump, as Bad News is a huge step back from Your Ghost As a Gift, a step that sees the band trying to be more mainstream, with more clean vocals from Keith Huluk and cliched approach to lyrics that seems to focus on previous relationships, partying and girls. I could be wrong and Huluk’s lyrics could be deep personal diabtribes, but with lyrics like “Bitch You’s a Ho“, I’m not sure. 

While still rooted in a form of The Destiny Program/Unearth/ Killswitch Engage form of metalcore, the magic and intensity that made tracks like “The Blackout”, “Household Stereotypes’ and “Heart Attack” standout from the metalcore crowd has been replaced by a post breakup, teenage diary rants and watered down, poppy and less intense song writing.

Call it a sophomore slump or the band simply showing their relative youth, Huluk, who still possess a stellar voice on par with Howard Jones, and Co just seem more like a typically young rock/pop punk band snickering amongst themselves and fawning over some ex girlfriend rather than the promising metalcore band they were on the debut; just listen to “I’ve Been Drinking” (with DJ scratching no-less), “Hot Mess”, “One Night Stand”, ballad “Heroine Diaries”, “Teenage Wasteland”, “Bombshell” and “Hoodrat” (are you serious guys?)- they sound more like a slightly heftier Atreyu or Every Time I Die more than anything.

As much as I hate to be harsh and lose these guys as friends, the fact is, Bad News isn’t a very good album and times, cringe inducing with not one of the songs as anywhere near as good as any track on the debut, only “Thanks For Nothing” comes remotely close. I hope this group of great guys hasn’t got starry eyed and crave MTV fame after their impressive debut.

I’m not sure what happened here, but I won’t give on these guys as I hope Bad News is a sophomore misstep from a band temporarily wanting fame and fortune. The thing is they have to talent and work ethic to do so but not at the expense of their style and substance.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 8th, 2008


  1. Commented by: swampthang

    they kinda sound like Gwen Stacy now. review new Classic Struggle shits ridiculous.

  2. Commented by: kyle

    biggest let down of 2008

  3. Commented by: ABC

    I was so disappointed by this record.

    I think Erik took the words right out of my mouth…

    Their debut was incredible….and this was a huge letdown.

  4. Commented by: krustster

    I was wondering about this one. I really liked the debut as well, especially “Household Stereotypes”–a really unique and listenable twist on a cliched sound. The song I heard on Myspace from this new one seemed pretty terrible though, and this review seems to confirm my fears. It’s too bad considering how much promise they showed back then.

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