I See Stars
I See Stars kickstart their fourth full-length with a song that steals the synth riff from Baauer's “Harlem Shake.” Yes, it’s just one element tossed into the blender with their usual high-pitched choirboy choruses and not-quite-Emmure breakdowns, but the fact that it’s there says ominous things about the band, who’ve been making keyboard-slathered, dancefloor-friendly deathcore for seven years already. Are they about to become one of those novelty bands that pastiches the year’s hot whatever for cheap laughs and retweets? Fortunately, the answer appears to be “no.” The balance between Devin Oliver’s clean vocals and Zach Johnson’s harsh roars is tilted more than ever in Johnson’s direction, despite the fact some songs are almost as sickly sweet as those on ISS's sophomore album, The End Of The World Party. They’ve got a few new ideas, too, like the dancehall-metal rhythm of the title track and the almost Attila-like bounce of “Boris The Animal,” and several tracks reveal a fascination with dubstep wobbles. But really, New Demons is I See Stars playing to their strengths and rewarding their fans—who’ve had to wait 19 whole months for the band to follow up Digital Renegade, after all.