Issues is one of those bands that can’t be categorized due to the fact that they incorporate other genres into the metalcore mix. Lead singer and clean vocalist Tyler Carter has always had large presence in the scene, his highly versatile vocal styles has been the subject of many who make commentary on Issues or vocalist in general. His smooth R&B style mixed with unclean vocalist Michael Bohn seems like on paper it would be a mess, but when executed in real life the outcome is pretty great. On May 20th Issues will be releasing their second full length “Headspace” via Rise Records, and after hearing it one like myself can see the evident progression.
Issues to me has been hit or a miss meaning some songs are great and other songs are not as great, this pattern is present in “Headspace”. The consistency the album lacks when going from one song to the next makes the record feel flat, however when the songs hit they hit hard and with a lasting impression. The opening “The Realest” is a weak opener, the track doesn’t properly convey the record like it’s supposed to. From sounding off with instruments to Carter falling short of what he’s known for and that is writing some beast like songs with memorable sounds. The rest of the album isn’t as bad as that, “Home Soon” and “Lost-n-Found” are perfect showcases of Issues moving forward, they’re trying to experiment and it’s kind of working in their favor. Whenever Carter and Bohn can go back and forth singing and screaming, the album out performs itself, “Lost-n-Found” as mentioned before shows them doing exactly that, and it works so well. Apart from moving forward, Bohn is trying to do some clean vocals and its working to the point where he doesn’t need to scream on certain parts. “Coma” shows his progression, his vocals are probably one of the major highlights of the record and outshines Carter on several occasions throughout. The second half of the album isn’t as great as the first but still holds its own, “Blue Wall” is the heaviest on the record, it has the sound the Issues is known for the disc scratching combined in with Carter lukewarm rapping. The rapping aspect has always felt weak whenever Carter tried to attempt lines in song, in Headspace he can heard getting somewhat better, but when Carter fails to deliver “bars” Bohn save the songs. “Someone Who Does” is a strange song, the rapping done by Carter feels out of place but when Bohn comes in he saves it the song, but not all is terrible when Carter comes in and sings and throws it back to Bohn the song shines the most from that aspect of Carters vocals complimenting Bohn screams
“Headspace” isn’t the perfect album, but it’s not bad Issues just needs to find some balance of what they want to sound like. Being too different isn’t always good thing, but the experimenting they are doing is working, if you where to listen to their first release and then to this, you could hear them progressing. “Headspace” is a great album, with a lot of great ideas the songs are great when they’re good but songs aren’t as good when they miss, the problem with them band is that there’s two extremes and no middle ground, and when they find that ground they can produce the perfect record they can. However, “Headspace” shouldn’t deter one from listening, the album itself is good and has more enjoyable parts then it does have bad parts.
You can stream the album here
Review By: Raza Malik