I See Stars
I See Stars’ first major release without unclean vocalist Zach Johnson and guitarist Jimmy Gregerson sees a shift in the Michigan band’s sound, but in the best way possible. A fluid amalgamation of pop, indie, electronic, hard rock and even hip hop, the band’s fifth full-length album truly has something for everyone.
Treehouse is definitely not as -core as their previous full-length, New Demons. In fact, the new record is mostly centered in pop but, that doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy. ISS use their low-tuned guitars and well-placed breakdowns (“Running With Scissors,” “Mobbin' Out”) to lend a dark accent to the ruling synth tones and ethereal vocals. Songs like “Break” smoothly move between big rock riffs and soft, piano-dominated melodies, while tracks like “White Lies” and “Everyone’s Safe In The Treehouse” slow things down as they build incredible momentum. I See Stars experiment with “All In,” which has the makings of a club banger, though it would probably benefit from Drake rapping “We takin’ risks cuz we all in” rather than vocalist Devin Oliver. Still, it’s an exciting and unexpected change that works and demonstrates how much Oliver, now ISS’ sole vocalist, endeavored to challenge his voice and range.
The most notable aspect of Treehouse is how obviously genuine it is. When Oliver says this new record received the most time and attention from the band since their debut 3-D, you can tell he’s sincere in his statement. Treehouse takes I See Stars’ signature electronicore sound to new and wonderful places, giving a powerful display of what it means to progress.