DEAD ON ARRIVAL: For the Failing Dreams
Monday, June 6, 2011 Leave a comment
Check out our newest guest contribution from Randall Woo of Union City, CA. Let him know how he did in the comments section below. If you’d like to write a guest contribution for Wrecked, get more info here.
It pains me to write this, but For the Fallen Dreams have lost it. Each iteration has become more watered down, more predictable. With the departure of drummer of Andrew Tkaczyk (to fellow melodic hardcore enthusiasts The Ghost Inside) FTFD have taken on a more straightforward sound akin to a straight-ahead mix of Bury Your Dead and A Day to Remember. Gone are the intricacies of their first two albums, to be replaced by chugging breakdowns and sing-along choruses repeated ad nauseum. They hinted towards this sound in 2009’s Relentless, but have fully embraced it on Back Burner.
An important factor when discussing this album is FTFD’s decision to have A Day To Remember’s Tom Denney produce the album. Whether the band or producer admits it or not, the influence can be heard throughout. The shift between heavy and melodic is not subtle at all. Rather, these two pieces are slapped right next to each other with little to no transitioning. The change can be quite jarring, and the choruses end up sounding forced.
The most glaringly obvious trait of this album is the lack of inspiration and originality. Go ahead, listen to the chorus of “My Anthem-Like Symphony” and compare it with Paramore’s “For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic.” Then listen to “Strange Faces” (bonus track), and compare it to Upon a Burning Body’s “Devil’s Advocate.” Purists will say that originality left metalcore a long time ago. FTFD were never the most original or creative, yet it is still disappointing to see them take this more commercial approach.
We want more too.
The album is not all bad however. The breakdowns are some of the heaviest/most massive sounding the band has released to date. (Listen to “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In” right about the 2:15 mark, or “Let Go”). Perhaps this is due to the juxtaposition against the choruses, but when they hit, they hit hard. The album is far from unlistenable, and can be quite catchy at times. One of the album’s shining moments is in “Yellow” around 2:10 in. It’s moody and atmospheric, like Mirrors-era Misery Signals.
Longtime fans of FTFD will still find something to like on Back Burner, but it’s clear that the band has decided to move in a different direction. The album has its moments, but overall it just sounds like something we’ve already heard before. Perhaps this album can be best described as “medio-core.”