So there’s this really weird thing with metalcore where bands just drown songs with dubstep and call it a day. This idea has been around for ages but it really took off when The Devil Wears Prada released their album Plagues. It’s gotten to the point where metalcore has essentially been absorbed by dubstep and electronica and it’s really not a good thing. It’s wound up producing copious amounts of formulaic drivel and I’m disappointed to confirm that I See Stars are right up there with the worst culprits. They’ve just released their new single, “Murder Mitten”, from their upcoming LP New Demons, and if this is any indication of what’s to be expected, I’m not impressed.
This is what people are talking about when they say that metalcore is dying. There’s no heart in this song. It’s got no soul, no conviction. It hasn’t been slaved over in some dude’s bedroom, it’s been manufactured specifically to maximise record sales and Facebook Likes. The song is so overproduced that it actually detracts from the listening experience. It’s a colossal wall of sound mix that washes over you, and not in a good way. Far from feeling cleansed and refreshed, you feel grimy and slick, like you haven’t washed your hair for six weeks.
Apart from the fact that it’s an awful, overproduced mess of sub-par composition, there are some tantalising elements that make this song even more disappointing, because they hint at what might have been. The harsh vocals, for instance, are incredible. The dubstep breakdowns would be awesome if they were composed with any semblance of class, or even just some knowledge of how to compose a breakdown (for a quick and easy lesson, listen to any Parkway Drive song). Instead, they’ve blended ‘quirky’ samples and wub-wub-wubs with down-tuned open palm mutes and created these abominations that sound like a Skrillex track taking one up the clacker. The clean vocal structures are also really catchy and if a man who actually sounded like a man and not an eight-year-old girl had sung them, then they might have been enjoyable.
Look, I know that this is a negative review, but this song isn’t good. In fact, it’s so bad, I can actually feel it peeling the enamel from my teeth. It’s an overproduced mess that has some tiny elements of competency, and all they do is make you rue what might have been. In essence, avoid it like the plague. This is irredeemable garbage. Do not waste your money. Go and buy an Animals As Leaders record instead.