Issues "Headspace"

As a hybrid between Hacktivist, Johnny Craig-era Emarosa, and bubble gum metalcore, Issues are certainly not an act that can be ignored. While their current Pokémon theme on stage is certainly laughable, or perhaps targeted for a  pre-teen audience, their latest Rise Records release is worth spotlighting.
     While hardly AOTY material, the band's amalgamated sound and creative palette trigger a tinge of djent related sounds that have a draw to the average ADHD listener. The songs contain a certain element of surprise, and cater to a commercial audience with crispy clean vocals and a blend of sing alongs and two step.
     What's really missing is the heartfelt epics that could have catapulted this band into stardom. Each song sounds like the one before it, and after the album opener there's never really another peak. When we're showcased with Issues credibility and ability to write intense, complex songs, as listeners we're instantly drawn in. But there's never a "heartstrings come undone" moment in the album, never a moment of truth where everything culminates into one. "I Always Knew" and "Slow Me Down" almost have a chance, but rather turn into a Mike Terry era Volumes type of presentation.
     While the gifted nature of composition is necessary and worth being exposed to, the album continues to linger in monotony, leaving us hopeful that maybe another one or two releases and a touch from the right producer will make the required change for future contributions to their catalogue.

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