Sunday, 27 May 2012

Review: Skip the Foreplay - Nightlife

 Sometimes, you have guilty pleasures. And then sometimes there are just those kinds of bands that with their very nature, principles and style of music, you should despise without question. And then like them. Welcome to my world, where I present myself as someone who is in to very pure rock n' roll and the most brutal type of metal and have managed to get into Nightlife, the debut album from the band with the worst name in the world. Let's look at Skip the Foreplay.

 Obviously, I've grown towards the efforts from a lot of recent bands that have mixed post hardcore, metalcore and mainstream dance and pop music together, but Skip the Foreplay manage to stand out from the rest of the crowd, as much more emphasis is put on the poppier elements here than the likes of Adestria and Hands Like Houses, which are both great bands. It means that overall, there are much more surprising moments to be found on the album. The brief intro track ST4P actually serves as one of the few moments in recent music that prove that dubstep bass and metallic riffs can actually co-exist as one rather than the supposed genuine effort from many artists that just incorporate scream vocals over a dubstep track. It would be more enjoyable if the song was over a minute long and the band didn't just use it to announce "We are Skip the Foreplay!" We get it guys. You have a terrible name.
 There are other moments that are so out of the ordinary that it just makes them very enjoyable. DJ is the prime song that displays the bands lasting dynamic between the moments of club-friendly and moshpit-friendly music. It can be seen best during the song's centerpiece where the smooth synth-led moments are put parallel to pulsing post-hardcore breakdowns from guitarists Mathieu Maltais and Chuck Pilon and the frantic screams of frontman Marc-Andre Fillion effortlessly shows the group's passion for metal and pop music coming to life in a style that is so breathtaking.
 To make this combination even more solid, the actual metallic performance is pretty solid. While Attack Attack! often have poppy choruses played out on heavy riffs to justify their metal credentials, Skip the Foreplay create a more genuine performance with the likes of Hangover and (sighs) Date Rape Predator displaying a strong influence from Bring Me the Horizon in the relentless metalcore assaults heavy on bass from bassist Juilen-Guy Beland, giving the overall heaviness that they create vary genuine in overall scales of how justified they are as a metal band.
 However, as genuine and dynamic as they manage to be, often, their overall efforts cannot be kept up across the entire album. Songs like DTK and Dom Perigon fizzle out too quickly, even when the songs actually happen to be at a particular high moment. And because songs like Hawaiian Killer and This City (We're Taking Over) show their pop music credibility is just as high as their metal credibility, listeners are left with pop radio fodder which has spawned countless similar songs that you could find in the dreaded Top 40 Chart list.
 I've come to the conclusion about the whole metalcore/electronica sub-genre that has emerged in recent years that it is in fact a music style that has developed a specialist audience and admittedly large cult following, due to it's inability to be attractive to pure pop fans or pure metal fans. The music displayed on Nightlife is truly the centerpiece in this style as the balance between both styles is at it's most extreme. Some songs on truly manage to pull the combination up to a tee, while other songs are less capable of achieving such a target. I think it's a shame that the band have gone the entire direction of giving themselves a dreadful name and filling their album with cheap jokes and mindless lyrics, because the music is very genuine and one of the more mainstream introductions of a style of musical combination exploding underground, (Check out Fail Emotions) and ultimately present themselves as a band that should be seen as a guilty pleasure and a band that one should despise every little thing about. But, this album is a good start for the group, if nothing else.

 Skip the Foreplay's Nightlife is out now via Epitaph. 

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