November 13, 2012 - Velocity/Rise
This review originally ran in AP 293.
Slathered in nü-metal turntable skritchy-skratchies (“King Of Amarillo”), rap-scream breakdowns (“Love, Sex, Riot”) and hip-hop bridges (“Princeton Ave”), Issues’ debut EP, Black Diamonds, toes the line between well-recycled nostalgia and beating a long-dead horse. While Korn and Limp Bizkit fans (they still exist, right?) might be stoked at the thought of a revival, Black Diamonds feels disjointed, switching between the aforementioned and *NSYNC-esque clean vocals from Tyler Carter, sometimes over a breakdown and sometimes over hip-hop beats. Add a dubstep intro proclaiming, “We keep the cash on deck,” and it’s hard to figure out what the band were even trying to accomplish. Carter kills every song with some of the best hooks of his career, but hopefully future releases will show a more focused musical direction.