Seattle trio Aiden are back for album number six, surprisingly quickly having only released their previous album ‘Disguises’ earlier this same year. Aiden have always been one of those bands that get plagued with criticism from left, right and centre and it’s quite easy to pick out why. With such a sudden release, it’s questionable that Aiden could be trying to pick up the pace after singer WiL Francis spending quite some time on his side project.
Things get underway with ‘There Will Be Blood’ which opens up with a quote from the famous action film, Gladiator, and it works surprisingly well. Afterwards we experience some fairly decent riff work Angel Ibarra. The track keeps up a good tempo, throws in a few hooks to keep us going and generally provides a fairly decent opener to get things open. WiL Francis‘ voice also works particularly well with this song – having such a strange vocal style, it can often sound misplaced and off key, but not so much here. The track profiles a distinctive AFI and My Chemical Romance-esque feel to it.
This is followed up by their most recent single ‘Broken Bones’, a song which most of the bad boxes. Mediocre lyrics, repetitive drum beat and vocals that just aren’t very fitting. The only redeeming factor is what they have done on the guitars. Minus their areas of improvement, you still have those songs which just fail to step up to the plate. Songs like ‘Grotesque Vanity’ are just awful, the song is just sounds like a sloppy attempt at an emo, punk song. With slurred and annoying vocals throughout from WiL and a stereotypical horrific female scream in the background that just won’t pipe down, the song just sounds like noise from an amateur teenage garage band who just discovered skinny jeans and eye-liner.
And thus the quoting continues; ‘Deactivate’ and ‘Freedom From Religion’ provide quotes from Trainspotting and an author called Sam Harris. Both tracks upon up with these hollow-sounding quotes and blast in with more hooking riffs Seem familiar? Both songs keep up well instrumentally and even show themselves off a bit, for example, the solo in ‘Freedom…’; however, they are let down by the monotone, rough and simply painful vocals.
The band even thought they’d throw in a couple of covers, one being ‘London Dungeon’ by Misfits and the other ‘Transmission’ by Joy Division. Both of these covers are quite fair, there’s nothing particularly amazing to brag about and there’s not too much to criticize. Having two covers on a 10 track album just makes it seem like the band have either rushed the record and just put them on their to fill the album up or that they’re running out of ideas and had to rely on music already out there. Either way, it doesn’t seem like the best idea.
The album isn’t exactly terrible, but it’s not exactly too great either. It feels like the band is out of time with their sound, they sound like they belong with the My Chemical Romance‘s ‘The Black Parade’ and various other acts of a similar time. Other than needing to recycle themself a bit, and perhaps exhaustion in writing abilities, the band has some promising areas to it.
Written by Matthew Collins