Let the social networking wars begin, Risecore lovers. As of midnight last night, scene staples Rise Records released two brand new songs: one by Woe, Is Me, the now re-assembled six-piece metalcore act, and Issues, the freshly signed collective featuring Tyler Carter and Michael Boen…ex-members of Woe, Is Me. For the past few months, things have been tense between the two acts. Rumors were created and sparks flew. However, both acts have redefined (or newly established) sounds which have been unleashed to the public for your consideration. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines and let the side picking begin.
Song: “I’ve Told You Once”
Band: Woe, Is Me
Album: Genesi[s] (Rise – 11/20)
The first track is by Woe, Is Me, entitled “I’ve Told You Once.” While the band’s older material is a collection of tech-heavy yet well-arranged metalcore, the new track adds a thick layer of nu-metal for flavor (think new Of Mice & Men meeting the vocal tone of Caleb Shomo (Attack Attack) or Chris Roetter (Like Moths to Flames). Whether the flavor was a wise choice or not is debatable, however. Woe, Is Me was always a band I considered a step above their Risecore counterparts. Whenever I listened to their first album Number[s], I enjoyed coming back to the well-produced, articulately arranged nature of their music. I could turn it on and instantly recognize Michael Bohn’s aggressive but not over-powering screams and Tyler Carter’s fresh R&B clean vocals. The band was stylistically pleasing all around.
The new track, unfortunately, has none of the same charm. The lyrical content has become panderingly dull on this outing, with cringe-worthy smack talk that should make anyone shudder. Don’t believe me? Fast forward to the bridge (2:35) and get creeped out when you read “It must be hard to talk shit with a dick in your throat.” Really? This is what passes for lyrics these days? Even when the focus of your song is basically calling out the ones who dare to call your efforts menial, what is this, second grade? I hate to say it, but it looks like whatever something special this band had is gone – possibly for good.
Final Verdict: 2/10.
Song: “King of Amarillo”
Album: Black Diamonds (Rise – 11/13)
Now on to the second track: ISSUES’ “King of Amarillo.” I must say, though ISSUES really don’t show any early signs of being the better man any time soon, there is definitely much more to enjoy on “King of Amarillo.” Coming across as a mix of pre-Number[s] Woe, Is Me and bands like Skip the Foreplay, the band incorporates a mixture of the older standard metalcore sound with an R&B style all their own. Carter has never sounded better than he does here. His vibratic touches are the prime ingredient to the song’s success; as he’s shown in the past, he definitely can belt his heart out when it’s required of him.
As for the song itself, there are enough cool touches to the song musically that make up for the weird, immature lyrics that inhabit the song. Check out 1:21 for a cool turntable-style sample that should prove for an extremely fun time in the pit. Sure, the lyrics aren’t anything to rave over, but what did you expect, really? Both of the songs were released side-by-side with similar lyrical backgrounds; if they were about two completely different topics, this rivalry wouldn’t be nearly as interesting to watch unfold. From what I can see, ISSUES came off as less pandering, so I’ll claim them as the victor – for now.
Final Verdict: 6/10.