Artist: Abandon All Ships
In the nearly three years that have past since Abandon All Ships arrived on the national music scene a lot has changed, especially in the world of modern hardcore/metalcore. Having a catchy synth line or gigantic, autotuned hook just does not cut it with the majority of fans, even those new to the genre, anymore. Those who once raved about dance moshing to “Megawacko 2.1” have, for the most part, developed more evolved tastes and now seek more technically proficient heavy music, or heavy mixed with dubstep, or in some cases straight-up EDM. As a result of this change, the subgenre of bands that rose to fame during the preceding wave of niche taste have found themselves either fighting for relevancy or sticking to their guns and riding their sound to an early grave. Abandon All Ships are no exception. If Attack! Attack! introduced the “Risecore” sound, AAS were the ones to push it upon the masses, and now that acts associated with that community have begun to fall apart it’s all eyes on AAS to see if they have what it takes to keep their heads above water.
Arriving July 3, Abandon All Ships set out to prove they are still the leaders and barrier-breakers they were when Geeving was released with their long-awaited Sophomore effort, Infamous. This may go without saying, but those who never cared for the band before now need only read the record’s title to understand the band is not going out of their way to try and impress them again. In fact, I would go as far as to say Infamous is the exact opposite of an accessible release, even for casual music fans, because Abandon All Ships have finally cut the shit and delivered something that is without a doubt a product of nothing but themselves. There seems to be no commercial angle, though one could make an argument the clear influence of hiphop adds a certain level of pop appeal, and the lyrics are more reflective of frontman Angelo Aita (and the band)’s views of the world around them. They are not here to impress you, they are not here to make you dance, and if you have something to say they’ll likely advise you to keep it to yourself. Abandon All Ships are here to play for keeps and they do just that from the beginning of Infamous to the very end.
It would be really silly of me to sit here and claim that Abandon All Ships have overcome some giant hurdle and are now becoming full-fledged subgenre giants. Their sound is not for everyone and even those who loved Geeving may find themselves turned away by some of the areas AAS have chosen to explore with this record (There is a ballad. You have been warned), but those who are able to see past whatever bullshit view they have about what “real music” or “real hardcore” is will surely see that Infamous is the product of a band giving their all to make a truly great record. It does not always work, but more often than not the results are even better than I (an admitted fan of both records) expected.
Open your mind before your mouth (or social networks) and give Infamous an honest opportunity to impress. If you have ever had interest in the area of music Abandon All Ships hail from it should be clear to hear the evolution and dedication to pushing themselves forwards, regardless of what anyone says.
Review written by: James Shotwell (Twitter)