I think it’s safe to say that if bands like The Amity Affliction, Of Mice & Men and Memphis May Fire didn’t exist, then there’s a BIG chance that younger, smaller bands like Queensland’s Take Us To Vegas would not only be much bigger, they’d get far more recognition. However, as it stands in 2015, the widespread nature of post-hardcore and metalcore genres dominating music scenes throughout the West means some bands just feel like carbon copies of more successful acts. Such is the case with Take Us To Vegas.
Sure, their name is corny and sounds like the first thing out of a young 20 something year-olds mouth when they jump into the car with their buddies, before a long, decadent, wallet-destroying weekend in the City Of Sin. Yeah, their sound is as generic as an Assassin’s Creed protagonist and not original by any stretch of the imagination. And yes, it becomes clear that there new album would’ve made a great EP if they’d cut a large amount of the filler out. But, hey at least it…ah…well, it has a few good songs…
Jesus Christ, we’re off to a good start, aren’t we? So what’s the big issue with the bands debut album? Well I’m glad you asked, dearest reader.
See, ‘Alive’ is a love-hate relationship. For every step forward that the album takes, it then takes another step backwards. For every time it gives you something, it takes something else away. It’s like a passive aggressive mob-boss whom once your debt to is paid off, he always incites yet another favor or a job for you to do, forever perpetuating the cycle of win and lose, of progression and regression. Now that’s a whole lot of words to say, “It’s pretty hit and miss”. So let’s barrel through some examples of the good and the bad.
Opener ‘We The Tyrants’, lead single ‘Victims’, and album closers ‘A World In Waiting’, and ‘Fatebreakers’ mark the only highlights of this album. If they had been on just one release – say an EP or a split – you’d be looking at a solid, concise package with well-written, engaging songs. But they’re a fourth of this album all together and considering that ‘We The Tyrants’ and ‘Victims’ are at the start of the album, and the other two aforementioned songs await you at the very end of ‘Alive’, that means you’ve got a fair bit to slog through.
It’s here in that slog that the lackluster songs show up and hold down the album and stagnate it worse than an X-Factor winner’s “career”.
‘Holding Fear’ is a massive nod to bands like Escape The Fate and Falling In Reverse but not in a good way. ‘Empty Pages’ has a short guest appearance from Chris Fronzak of Attila but it’s just cliché and generic. Then there’s the blatant A Day To Remember rip-off of ‘Embers’, which feels way too uninspired to shift the gears of this album forward. ‘Torn Apart’ and the title track follow the same empty void of creativity and before you know it, you’ve gone through the whole album and about 20 more minutes of sheer disa-fucking-ppointment.
Now, I’ve been sitting on this review since the album came out and it’s because I was strenuously thinking of a good way to sum this record up. Then, about a week ago, it hit me – ‘Alive’ is just severely average. It’s just goddamn severely average metalcore that leaves you wanting in the direst of ways.
Huh, that was easy.