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Review: I See Stars – New Demons (Album)

Formulaic hardcore electronic music from Michigan shouldn’t work but it does. Check out our review of ‘New Demons’ here.

 Band: I See Stars
Release: New Demons
Release Date: 25/11/2013

Watch out Enter Shikari, yet another band are hot on your tails ready to “break some genre boundaries” except, this time, it’s with a tonne of typically American, over the top, dance music sounds chucked in for extra scene points. That said, it’s actually pretty good.

The predictable cringe factor hits a ridiculous high with opening track ‘Initialisation Sequence’, pointless in its attempts to sound like a computer game or a sequence from a futuristic film. It even says “system meltdown” at the end of it. Come on now! From that moment on though, things take a definite turn for the better.

‘Ten Thousand Feet’ begins with a hook that any electronic producer would be proud of and maintains a brilliant balance between the lighter and heavier elements of the music. With elements of A Day To Remember and Dance Gavin Dance shining through, the sound continues into ‘Follow Your Leader’, as throaty screams and a metalcore sound take over, the melodic chorus cutting through the heavier sound like an unstoppable sunbeam piercing through a dark and hideous cloud (yep, that’s right!).

Starting off like a Latin-sounding carnival song, ‘New Demons’ is quick to push any fun to the side but ‘Violent Bounce (People Like You)’ sounds as though it could easily soundtrack the latest game in the app store. ‘Murder Mitten’ begins with a chart-friendly pop intro but is taken over by creepy whispers, whirling arcade dance game sounds, and circle pit-starting breakdowns.

The whole album follows the same formula but, thankfully, it’s a formula that seems to work pretty well. I See Stars are definitely a band that’s going to divide opinions. For those who prefer their music a little heavier or a little more serious there might not be anything to like about them; too poppy for some, too much screaming for others. On the other hand, the sextet from Michigan’s mix of hardcore and electronic music is going to be anthemic for some.


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