Over the past year, Issues have gone from a Rise Records gamble to the scene’s hottest property – and that’s all before the release of a full length album. Their loveably ludicrous desire to mate RnB and Metal has been received as hit or miss, so the difficultly in doing it well has contributed to the length of time they have taken. But finally, Issues (s/t) is here, and it hits as hard as a right hook from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
‘Sad Ghosts’ wastes no time in making an entrance, outlining their mission to deliver groovy, yet blisteringly heavily tunes. Apart from Tyler Carter’s boy band chorus, it’s a relatively routine start, but is certainly capable of convincing the undecided to at least hear them out. There are plenty of audacious JLS-to-Metal moments in ‘Mad At Myself’, ‘Late’, and ‘Never Lose Your Flames’, yet ‘The Langdon House’ has haunting nu-metal connections with tracks that Korn unleashed almost a decade ago. It’s this array of influences that helps weld the album together.
Towards the end of s/t, Issues truly come out of the woodwork, though. They have the self-assurance to change the course of the sludgy ‘Stingray Affliction’ by capping it off with another Carter masterclass, and concluding the record with beautifully entwined Gospel singing on ‘Disappear [Remember When]’ just ices the confidently baked cake.
As to be expected, Issues s/t is a pretty mixed bag of many treats. It’s been a long time coming, but that has allowed them to refine, refine, and refine again so that every moment of the record works. The Atlanta boys haven’t achieved perfection, but is there any band out there brave enough to drop something interesting as this? Issues dares you.
Reviewer: Matt Borucki