Review by Chris Lockett
The music industry is completely f*cked. And while this might not be some original/unique statement, it’s actually very fitting because, in the spectrum of rock music, most bands aren’t putting out a whole lot of original or unique music. It’s an unfortunate fact that this microwavable music sells, because we live in a world where people are more interested in nodding their head with a beat for a couple of minutes, than they are in listening to something a bit more elaborate and meaningful. In a world that’s filled to the brim with this throwaway music, the last thing that we need is more of the same. And so that leads me to the subject at hand. Another Lost Year is a new band that has just released its debut album, Better Days. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this band and their album, but is this a band that has something new to bring to the table, or are they just more of the same? Hit the jump to find out!
Have you ever had it where you’re browsing the web for new music, and some cover art or a description of a band catches your eye? And then you proceed to listen to the band only to discover about 30 seconds in, that you’re extremely bored? So you jump ahead a bit in the song (probably to the chorus), to see if it gets any better, only to realize that it doesn’t, and that the band completely sucks? Of course you have! We ALL have! The only difference between your situation and mine is that you don’t have to listen to a full album of that crap. You got your 45 seconds worth, and you made up your mind that you didn’t like it. For me on the other hand, I have to slog through 45 MINUTES worth of music to see if there’s anything that is even remotely gratifying about the album. And while I liked Another Lost Year’s lead single “War On The Inside”, I had no way of knowing that it was literally the ONLY decent track on the whole album.
So after the first song on the album, (title track “Better Days”), failed to impress me, (and almost put me to sleep), I held onto hope that the rest of the album would be better.
The next track on the album ended up being “War On The Inside”, so I instantly felt better. But as I was listening to it, something weird happened. I noticed that it sounded like “Better Days” handsome twin brother. In other words, it was a better version of “Better Days”. “That’s a bit odd”, I thought to myself as I moved on to the third track, “All That We Are”.
By this time, I was very bored, as “All That We Are” sounded even more boring and bland than “Better Days”. But it wasn’t until I hit the fourth track, “Broken”, that I officially gave up any hope of the album being anything other than boring, blasé, radio friendly, riff rock.
I’m going to be extremely candid right now, and tell you to avoid this album like the plague, unless you’re having a hard time sleeping and don’t feel like popping an ambien. Even then, however, the album might just end up annoying you to the point where you decide that a nap might not be enough, and you start looking for something a bit more permanent. In all seriousness though, I don’t think that I have ever heard a more grating/boring set of songs in my entire life. All of the eleven tracks on this album sound EXACTLY alike, and feature the EXACT same song structure. Recycled guitar riffs, followed by uninspired lyrics about different psychological struggles, all leading into a soaring chorus, that then winds back around to where the song started. It doesn’t matter if the song is an acoustic one, or a rocker (although the band never combines the two), the band absolutely refuses to shake the song format up. To top things off, nothing is catchy or memorable in the least (aside from “War On The Inside”). It’s almost like the band put all of their energy into making one hit song, and figured that they could get away with making a full album of lesser versions of the exact same song. Well guess what you guys, you did it! Congratulations! Just don’t expect anyone to be interested when you release your sophomore album.
The Bottom Line: With Better Days, Another Lost Year has made an incredibly boring, and uninspired album that is a perfect representation of everything that is wrong with popular Rock music. Unless you want to end up like Van Gogh, I suggest that you avoid this album at ALL costs.