Issues are a band from Atlanta consisting of some of the previous members of Woe, Is Me. The band take these metal and metalcore roots and combine them with the RnB and hip hop influences of clean vocalist Tyler Carter and create something truely interesting. After a brief stint as a solo artist (which we should probably just try and forget about), Carter teamed up with some old band mates and returned to his roots. Some of these members have already left Issues, but despite the ever-changing lineup and some questionable career choices, the band have produced a very enjoyable and promising debut album.
For many people there comes a time when the pure metal/hardcore scene becomes a bit stale and one looks to other music genres whilst still enjoying these harder ones. Issues provide a great intermediate stage wherein fans of Justin Timberlake or Drake can enjoy them, just as much as fans of bands such as Of Mice & Men or Sleeping With Sirens (or in fairness, any of Rise Records’ bands).
The band have moved on from the frustration and anger (directed at Woe, Is Me) that summarised the sound of their 2012 EP ‘Black Diamonds’ but haven’t lost their edge or their heavy sound. Carter’s vocals are very impressive and they do suit the more pop sound that the album brings, but Michael Bohns unclean vocals pierce through and bring the band right back to the harder side. The album brings together the more modern parts of mainstream music, electronic music and the ever growing metal and hardcore scene. Like in The Langdon House where there’s a merge of synth and guitar at the same time, which works very well and it looks like the song might be a perfect example of what the album has to offer, but then there’s kind of some slightly cringe-worthy ‘rap’ thrown in.
It’s a very experimental album, which adds to it’s originality – there are plenty of surprises for the listener; whether you were a fan of any of the members’ previous endeavours or have never heard of them before. Tears On The Runway Part 2 features up-and-coming singer Kylo, which adds another dimension to the album. It’s nice to see a band in a somewhat saturated scene showing some flair and taking some risks and working with other artists, whether or not these risks work is up to the individual, but it’s definitely refreshing.
Stand out tracks are Never Lose Your Flames and Mad At Myself, which are aggravatingly catchy without descending into merely radio-friendly songs, they still have that distinctive quality. Issues have done something very impressive with the album; there might be every fibre of your being that does not want to like it, whether that’s because of some of the silly drama that has followed this band, or the sense that this genre of music’s scene is an undesireable one, but this album is entertaining and enjoyable. It and the band are something that very few others out there are – unique. So whether you enjoy the album or not, Issues have definitely done something respectable, they have made a sound of their own and we can expect to see much more of them in their scene.