Everyone Dies In Utah

Seeing Clearly

Written by: BL on 14/06/2011 17:41:03

Nowadays any band that comes labeled with post-hardcore and electronic tags has me all skeptical and cynical inside. I like many people found some novelty and unhinged fun when bands like Attack Attack! and Asking Alexandria when they first hit the scene (in a sort of silly kind of way) after Enter Shikari paved the way. However now it has gotten to the point where any teenager can buy a cheap keyboard and become that electrocrabcore-crunkmaster of their crappy basement band by playing some simple synthesized beats over some crappy breakdowns, electronic post-hardcore bands are more than a dime a dozen and it is just the case that most of them suck or are just too derivative - to the point where it's so hard for any new band to really stand out. It would therefore take something special from "Seeing Clearly", the debut album of Temple, Texas, US based Everyone Dies In Utah to change my opinion on the genre in its current state.

For the most part I can't say I was overly impressed by everything I heard on "Seeing Clearly". It has all the 'fancy' features one would expect, lots of electronics, big clean choruses, the occasional use of autotune for funsies, and a boatload of crabcore breakdowns. If you arrange these elements in a way that can be somewhat enjoyable on some superficial level then at the very least you have an album that will last maybe half a dozen plays. Everyone Dies In Utah only pull this off on a few occasions throughout the eleven tracks on the album, while most of it becomes a somewhat okay somewhat dull listening experience even for those who like their more mainstream post-hardcore. Following a pointless opening introduction, "Bed, Bath & Beyonce" has a fairly enjoyable chorus sung by bassist Justin Yost (who actually doesn't sound high pitched or whiny particularly), but the rest of it is really dragged down by having a slow as hell intro breakdown and repeating a similarly sluggish and senseless breakdown inbetween the other chorus iterations. This kind of lazy songwriting surely can't last the whole album? Well the following song "Dude... I Know... It's Everywhere" doesn't do much to change that impression, sounding like some kind of lazy Asking Alexandria b-side, the way the breakdowns alternate between the open string chugging to the brootal chord chugging with the changing crash to china cymbals on the drums, the techno beats interlaced in the back, you get the idea.

Not all the tracks are quite as monotonous but only get marginally better, "Bar Fightz & Disco Lightz" despite having a pretty ridiculous name, relies a little more on power pop melodies and more singing from Justin and as such is enjoyable in a light hearted sense until the inevitable breakdowns kick in during the latter third. "Dance War" is even more electronica heavy though somewhat all over the place, the odd dubstep hum included, more power pop, then some actual guitar riffing instead of just chugging (which comes later). The end of the track even has some lead synth which is reminiscent of older Enter Shikari. "Synthesize Me Captain" utilises a more retro-electronic feel at the start which sounded promising, but then it still has those really bland breakdowns littered throughout. It had a short trance/dance segment that was actually pretty cool and was a shame it wasn't fleshed out a little more - but so far the good things seem to get rotated in and out of the trashy parts a little too frequently for me to get any real kick out of anything. "Adrian Makes It Rain" is perhaps one of the strongest songs on the album, making good use of neat melodic guitar riffs and strong clean vocal segments. "Bark Twice If You're In Milwaukee" unfortunately returns back to the repetitiveness, by this point I am literally so tired whenever Everyone Dies In Utah does the whole 'make the breakdown pattern with the snare as a sort of buildup before the breakdown comes in' - it's so frustrating to see these guys resort to their comfort zone of being lazy songwriters when they can't be bothered to think of anything better. "Simply Me" has no guitars whatsoever and as a final song, offers some reprieve from all the mind-numbing chugging and screaming, and with the electronic ambience actually being used pretty well to create a soothing backdrop for the all singing vocals. The chorus from "Bed, Bath & Beyonce" eventually comes back as a send-off and a farewell here, and it actually works great I have to say.

All in all "Seeling Clearly" isn't a travesty to listen to but it's nothing too worthwhile in the long run sadly. It has some decent sparks of interest here and there with the electronics and actually non-generic clean vocals, but the pacing generally feels a little too slow for me even when the drum beats picks up the pace, and there's too many parts that either sound more or less the same or are just trying to cater for the most simpled minded youngsters who like to eat this sort of stuff up all the time. For all its positive lyrical content and wannabe party like nature, I feel like I might be taking the whole album a little too seriously when I start criticising it negatively, but even from a completely casual stance (where again I can think Attack Attack!'s AC-130 is 'cool') it's hard for me to recommend this more than just a few plays if you like anything similar out there.

Download: Dance War, Synthesize Me Captain, Adrian Makes It Rain
For the fans of: Attack Attack!, At The Skylines, Enter Shikari
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 01.03.2011
Tragic Hero Records

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