With all the controversies and fervour which have dogged Falling In Reverse, or more specifically the band’s ever polarising frontman Ronnie Radke, it can be all too easy, even for those rather immune to comment section warfare, to overlook what is going on behind the rumpus. It perhaps then serves this Las Vegas quintet well that they have delivered a sophomore album of such contrary genre splicing that even those focusing on the actual music will have more than enough ammunition to keep the internet brimming with the name Falling In Reverse for months to come.
Indeed, ‘Fashionably Late’ represents such a drastic mixed bag that it’s somewhat difficult to keep up as we career through a mismatched labyrinth of metalcore genericisms, strutting rap breaks, saccharine choruses, juddering electronics and even a jaunty country twang (see ‘Drifter’).
From the mildly passable aggression of opener ‘Champion’ and what’s a surprisingly impressive Dragonforce-esque instrumental section in ‘Born To Lead’, the record does little but offend and bore in equal measure. Performing with an undeniable confidence, it remains to be seen whether the brash singer is merely expressing a desire to experiment or attempting to inflame yet again, but what is clear is that his cocky swagger is severely misplaced here. Radke‘s vocal performance is little more than servicable, the title-track’s unimpressive pop-punk flavour and ‘Bad Girls’ ludicrous bubblegum frivolity showcasing some rather arduous straining.
‘Fashionably Late’‘s most significant bugbear, however, is most certainly to come from the all too frequent rapping breaks. Lead single ‘Alone’ would be undeniably the main offender as we’re treated to a hilarious (intentionally or not) flow of dynamite lyricisms such as “All I do is win. Charlie Sheen.” over a bed of sub par synth refrains and tiresome breakdown patterns, and although it can again to said that it’s carried off with aplomb, the asinine bravado and transparent hubris show this to be ill deserved.
We can only assume that this record is a imbalanced attempt at ‘trolling’ both Falling In Reverse fans and detractors alike. The sheer disarray of genres which is thrown at us makes it a somewhat of a curiosity, yet it also becomes quickly apparent that the band for the most part struggle to even deliver one style with enough aptitude to mark it enjoyable. Staggeringly, ‘Fashionably Late’ is not the worst release of twenty thirteen, but it’s undeniably the most confused.
Written by Tony Bliss