I didn’t know Escape the Fate even existed until last year when they suddenly took Kansas City radio by storm with “You’re Insane”. According to my research, they’ve actually been around since 2006. I’ve also found out that they’re actually quite the polarizing band. Worst case senario, they’re a lot like The Smashing Pumpkins in the sense people love the music, but hate the lead singer. I think the lead singer is the one who pisses people off in this band, anyway. It usually is, and if it isn’t him, it’s usually the lead guitarist.
Escape the Fate was formed around the time when emo was a popular subgenre of alternative rock. And to a similar extent, “screamo” was a popular subgenre of metal. I love the wordplay, but I hate emo with a passion. Screamo isn’t much better, although I’ve noticed Killswitch Engage really cleaned up their act since 2004 and have actually become listenable.
As for Escape the Fate themselves… I’m not going to lie, I’m currently having a really hard time deciding if I like these guys or not. I suppose one can’t be irrationally spiteful of a genre forever, but still, for a screamo band, I was expecting a lot worse. Granted, there’s still songs on here that annoy the piss out of me, and said songs might’ve cost this band my fandom in the longrun, but they do have songs I like.
The only way to truly decide where to go is simple. We must plug in “Ungrateful”, their most recent album as of this writing, and give it a listen. Join me, won’t you?
ALBUM ART: B-
Wow. That is officially the second most jarring first track I’ve heard in this series. Escape the Fate clearly decided to come out swinging, and I get the feeling they might even be headhunting with a beginning track like this. Fast paced, shrieky, and heavy as fuck, with just a tiny little pinch of industrial thrown in for the hell of it (I suspect). It sets the bar pretty high. Whether or not the rest of the album lives up to the standard will remain to be seen, but right now, I’m loving it.
2. Until We Die
This track features a lot more singing in the verses, but it’s still pretty heavy. I like how the end of “Ungrateful” leads into the beginning of this track, yet this track still feels like its own song. They feel connected, yet at the same time, one can stand on its own without the other. Also, the song itself isn’t half bad. The corris is catchy enough, and the pianno in the bridge is an interesting little bit I wasn’t expecting the first time I listened to this.
3. Live Fast, Die Beautiful
“She flicks her cigarette, burning holes in her clothes. Just like some fucked up version of Marilyn Monroe.” Uh, yeah. Dude’s not exactly Shakespeare, but I suppose it gets the point across in the longrun. Clunky lyrics aside, this song is ridiculously catchy. It’s got that “Hollywood Whore” theme going for it, which has yet to get as tiresome as the “bad Girlfriend” thing in my humble little opinion. Definitely worth a listen.
4. Forget About Me
I know it’s trying, but this track just can’t hold my attention. I don’t know if it’s the fact the vocalist is really trying to hit the high notes in the corris, or if “Live Fast, Die Beautiful” is just a difficult act to follow, but I’m just not feeling this one. It’s not bad by any measure, but it’s just not doing it for me personally.
5. You’re Insane
This is the first single from this album, and it’s the song that caught my interest. The corris has a real brainworm quality to it, and the guitar riff they went with… Maybe not the work of a true guitar virtuoso, but it catches my attention. It kind of helps I grew up listening to grunge and Korn, so really, I grew up with the KISS principle. KISS, by the way, is short for “Keep it simple, stupid.” Just in case someone out there thought I was talking about Gene Simmons. What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, Escape the Fate. Good song. Can definitely see why they went with this as their single.
6. Chemical Love
This is hands down the most… Interesting, of the tracks. We’ve had some pretty hard, pretty heavy, very fast paced tracks up till now. This one decides to slow things down, and kick up the industrial factor to at least ten or eleven on the dial. It actually sounds kind of creepy when it’s just the drum machine and the pianno. It’s an interesting change of pace, and not a bad one, either. It’s one of my absolute favorites on the entire album, and I highly recommend it.
7. Picture Perfect
UUh… Wow. It’s clearly the ballad of the album. I have no problem with ballads by default, but holy fucking hell does this song suck! This sounds more like something Marune 5 would write if they had a heavier instrumental. As it turns out, though, this song was co-written by one Patrick Stump of Fallout Boy. Boy does that explain a lot. I’m not going to be one of those guys who claims Fallout Boy is poison, and turns everything they touch into shit, but they certainly killed the momentom of this album dead.
9. Risk it All
On one hand, this kind of sounds like “You’re Insane”, but it kind of doesn’t at the same time. Like they had the same thought process going in, but changed up the structure enough to where it sonds more like it was influenced by than ripped off from. On the other hand, it’s such a wonderful change of pace from that shit from earlier that I’ll take it.
I don’t know why I like this song, but I do. The corris has a brainworm quality to it, the instrumental has quite the urgency to it. It does include that skipping voice trick that is really popular in the pop genre right now. It seems hypocritical to criticize it in pop, but not mind it in rock… Then again, I tend to hate a lot of The Tea party based on the fact they’re The Tea Party, so who the hell am I to be unbiased.
10. One For the Money
Okay, this is just sad. Clearly, at this point in the album, the band was suffering from some serious writer’s block. I showed this to the other person living with me at the moment to see what their reaction is (because as much as we hate each other lately, we can at least agree on music), and they pointed out this kind of lazy-ass song writing is a bit of a thing in country right now. Let’s take an old saying like “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.” and make it into the corris of our song,. The voice skipping I mentioned in the previous track is here, too, but it’s significantly more annoying here. I don’t know why that is, it just is. Long story short, this song fucking sucks.
11. Fire it Up
Once again, I hear hints of “You’re Insane” in this song. Specifically in the corris. Which is too bad, because it sounds like they’re trying really hard to go out with a bang. I just can’t get into this song. I’m kind of surprised a song called “Fire it Up” is at the end of the album. I’d have put this at the beginning if I were the one arranging the track list. Then again, nobody ever listens to me.
OVERALL GRADE: C+
In short, this album has it’s good points, but I honestly don’t see myself joining the Escape the Fate fan club any time in the immediate future. It’s got songs I like, and songs I don’t like. That’s the best, and the worst I can say about this album.