The new release from Falling In Reverse may be the best example of musical trolling that I have ever heard.
Ronnie Radke and friends return just in time for summer of 2013 with the most eclectic release so far this year. This is a release that is generating a lot of talk and is sure to generate a lot of hatred from the bands detractors. There is good reason why, the drama surrounding the band and its polarizing front man Ronnie Radke has always outweighed their actual musical contributions. Their first release ‘The Drug In Me Is You’ was a solid mixture of metal core and bubble gum pop and was quite enjoyable for what it was. Fashionably Late retains many of the same elements that worked on their first record, and throws bits and pieces of, well, everything else in the mix.
The term “hot mess” is used a lot and is wholly appropriate here. To me it has always carried the connotation that a slew of ingredients (or musical styles) were thrown together and somehow, beyond belief, actually work together. In what feels like a genuine and intentional approach to piss off just about everyone Falling In Reverse incorporate elements of pop, metal, rap and dub-step to create an eclectic mix of tracks. Listening to Fashionably Late is like walking down a hallway in a mental hospital, every track is a closed door and one is never quite sure what lurks behind it. The opening track ‘Champion’ starts out like a traditional metal core song, harsh singing, heavy drums and shredding guitars lead into a melodic, sing along chorus. Then, at two minutes in the track breaks down into an a capella rap verse complete with a back-beat and some electric violins. Just when you start wrapping your head around this, the breakdown hits and the song refrains back to its original metal roots. Then, to add juxtaposition the next track ‘Bad Girls Club’ is basically a pop punk track that would not be out of place on something from Blink 182 or Good Charlotte. Playful and fun it’s one of those songs that will find yourself singing a few hours later without realizing it.
Those two are a great representation of what to expect over the next 15 tracks (the deluxe release includes bonus material including a remix of the song Rolling Stone). Joining Radke this time around is returning guitarists Jacky Vincent and Derek Jones. Replacing departed members are drummer Ryan Seaman and bassist Ron Ficcaro. Vincent is an excellent musician, and one of the big things that I was lacking on this release was his solo work that was quite prevalent on the band’s first album. It may be the greater addition of electronic elements here that tones down, though the songs that are more on the rock/metal edge has the band sounding fantastic. The production is excellent, and the shifting musical styles gave my speakers and headphones an excellent workout.
This release is going to generate a lot of hate in the music community. Metal and hard rock fans are notorious for their hatred when a band or artists does anything to compromise so called “integrity”. Falling In Reverse succeeds here though. Yes, some tracks are a little off. Alone is basically a rap song with breakdowns thrown into the mix. Drifter is a country song, a pop infused one, but a country song nonetheless. Radke and friends did not set out to appease the masses here, and in the end they are most likely sitting back and laughing at all of the hate (and exposure) this is going to cause. If listeners can let go of preconceived notions of the band and genre’s in general they will find a lot to enjoy here.
2. Bad Girls Club
3. Rolling Stone
4. Fashionably Late
6. Born to Lead
7. It’s Over When It’s Over
8. Game Over
9. Self-Destruct Personality
10. Fuck the Rest
11. Keep Holding On
13. Where Have You Been (Bonus)
14. Goddamn (Bonus)
15. Rolling Stone (Shy Kids Remix) (Bonus)