After their last album ‘Misery’, which certainly lived up to its name, The Amity Affliction have signed to Pure Noise Records to release their latest collage of dripping wet sponges in audio form, ‘Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them’.
And you almost want to praise them for trying. ‘Coffin’ has been given a melodramatic intro, but as always, the disparity between what The Amity Affliction think they’re doing and what they’re actually doing is painfully large. A predictable mosh call then follows, and we’re greeted with a chugging section so generic that you can picture it being played live with a gigantic Monster Energy backdrop. Two minutes in, and you’re already wishing it was over.
The verses of ‘All My Friends Are Dead’ are certainly an attempt to win over some fans they may have alienated with ‘Misery’, sounding as heavy as it can and with Joel Birch trying his hardest. But, of course, we’ve got a typically flat, non-committal clean vocal performance. Ahren Stringer‘s delivery of the line “All my friends are fucking dead” is so uncomfortably cringe-worthy and misses the mark by such a distance that you may actually burst out laughing.
In spite of some attempts to go heavier, much of their recent sonic plunge is still lingering around, like abandoned waste on a street attracting flies. An example is ‘Soak Me In Bleach’, which will make you wish for exactly that to happen to you, and every producer’s favourite helium friend is back, of course. Please, can this whole chipmunk vocal nonsense just fuck off forever? Even people who actually listen to music with chipmunk vocals in don’t keep asking for them. Ironically, you may be wishing for a moment like the infamous keytar drop on ‘Misery’‘s ‘Feels Like I’m Dying’, because at least that provided a moment of hilarity.
Yet, on an album so plagued with pitifully turgid pap, there may be actually a prime offender. The truly pathetic ‘Aloneliness’ opens with multi-layered Ahren Stringers, as if to speed up the process of your soul leaving your body. And when Stringer tries to grit his voice up, with the help of pitch correction, it’s another stomach-churningly awful moment to dump on top of the landfill pile. Seriously, what is the point of imitating music that’s all over the radio and not even being good at it? This is so irredeemably shitty it’s beyond comprehension; you may as well be listening to Imagine Dragons. ‘Fever Dream’ is also incredibly sappy, and drink in ‘Born To Lose’, because it’s the only tolerable song on here.
If The Amity Affliction‘s mission statement is to induce even more self-hatred within yourself when you listen to them, then fair enough. Otherwise, just pack it in, guys. There are much, much better things to do with your time instead of inflicting this dismal, dreadful album upon yourself.