Fear, And Loathing In Las Vegas

All That We Have Now

01. Acceleration
02. Scream as Hard as You Can
03. Crossover
04. How Old You are Never Forget Your Dream
05. Interlude 1
06. Just Awake
07. Defeat and Beat
08. In the End, the Choice is All Yours
09. Ley-Line
10. Interlude 2
11. Don’t Suffer Alone

[08/08/12]
[株式会社バップ(Vap Inc.)]

Do you like J-rock influenced metal? Electronica elements? Autotuned clean vocals? If these sound like the worst plagues that can be brought upon music, then it’s pretty safe to say Fear, and loathing in Las Vegas probably aren’t for you. It’s easy to see why these elements scare many people off, but it would be unfair to dismiss FALILV just because of prior bands who have used those elements poorly. An immediate comparison can be made to Eskimo Callboy, but that band misses the point completely, whereas FALILV have a completely different focus on similar themes. Their sound is a more brave exploration of the mixture of trance and metalcore, with a slight experimental slant that evokes Iwrestledabearonce and adds a clear direction that is in favor of musical integrity while bringing the aforementioned elements together. Still here? Then let’s see how All That We Have Now fares.

So what do FALILV sound like? Take the best anime opening J-Pop and J-Rock songs of the last 10 years, add the electronica from the best rave you can ever imagine, add it on a framework of metalcore, and add autotuned vocals on top of the mix (in fact, FALILV songs have been used for anime openings before). It does sound like a mess, but it actually ends up being brilliant. The upbeat J-rock riffs make the songs very memorable and adding high pitched screams on top of them make them appealing for a metal listener. Interspersing metalcore riffs (that are usually quite fresh and well-executed) with the J-rock already puts the band in a unique position that few other bands can claim stake at. But then, instead of slowing songs down and making them monotone with a typical metalcore breakdown, FALILV instead use really well-written electronica section that usually are accompanied by metal drums and guitars. This makes it so that the songs never have a down point, they’re always energetic and feel-good. If you were to imagine a rave that would be appealing to metal fans, this would probably be what plays at that rave. Adding the autotuned vocals that aren’t obnoxious or whiny and instead sing actual melodies that compliment the songs on top of it, and you have FALILV’s brilliant formula. If that’s not enough, there are the odd jazz, ska and chiptune breaks that add an extra bit of experimentation to the sound. Given that all of this is produced very well so that every component of the music is audible clearly, there is very little to fault in this album’s sound. All this is assuming one can accept the extremely modern sound the band provides.

Yet another success of FALILV is that they can put all these elements together and not have them be a one-trick pony. Each song has its own “thing”, with a range from straight-up heartwrenching J-pop anime opener to almost-pure-metalcore to almost-pure-electronica. The two interlude tracks are downright amazing displays of electronic songwriting, and their skill is also apparent in the regular songs too, blending cliches of Japanese contemporary music with metal stylings. Also, the screaming is really good and unique. As mentioned before, what separates FALILV from most of their contemporary “post -hardcore” bands that are frankly pretty terrible is that FALILV are interested in writing actual songs that work as a whole with all their elements. Their songs aren’t “dubstep with breakdowns and the random autotune” but instead a natural combination of everything mentioned so far. Usually a pop artist’s success can be judged by how infectiously memorable their songs are, and if we apply the same metric to FALILV, they clearly are very successful, because this album will make you hum all its catchy upbeat melodies days after listening. Not only that, but it also invokes one’s inner party animal, inviting the listener to dance like there is no tomorrow. That was clearly FALILV’s aim when making this album, and they’ve definitely succeeded. This is an album that should be listened to without preconceptions, and for fans of J-rock this will probably be the album of the year.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqT58pLAEj8]

Fear, And Loathing In Las Vegas- All That We Have Now gets…

4.5/5

– NT

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