Issues Album Review

By Sarah Govis

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I discovered Issues two years ago, after the band ‘Woe, Is Me’ split, forming Issues. I had never been a huge fan of ‘Woe, Is Me’ because their music was too heavy for me. I fell in love with Issues’ music almost immediately, as soon as I heard “Princeton Ave” from their first album.

I received Issues’ self-titled album as a Christmas present, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. Their mix of post hardcore and R&B is amazing, and it’s a very rare mix too. Most post hardcore seem to feel the need to assert their dominance through ridiculous vocals, but Issues has the perfect mix between screaming and clean vocals, as well as controlled drums.

1. Sad Ghost
The first track starts off smooth, with just music, but it doesn’t take long for their lead singer to commence screaming. The song is about reflecting on the past and how the past affects life today. The song is an amazing way to open the album and sets the tone for the following songs, as the album seems to reflect on moving through life and dealing with the past.

2. Mad at Myself
The second track is definitely one of my favorites on the album; the lyrics are absolutely beautiful. The song is about a relationship turned sour, and really — what else would a teenage high school girl rather listen to? Tyler Carter’s voice is stunning throughout the entire song, and Michael Bohn’s screams add extra power to the song.

3. Life of a Nine
The meaning of the song is a little more difficult to uncover, but it seems to be about a girl giving up her life to drugs. While the meaning is incredibly sad, the song is super catchy. The beat is so fun, and the lyrics are a lot of fun to sing along to.

4. The Langdon House
As much I love the album, the Langdon House is maybe the worst song on the album. It’s not as fun or as catchy as the others, and it doesn’t seem to fit into the album right. The song just feels sort of awkward, especially where it’s placed in the album. The lyrics are interesting, but the beat very typical post hardcore, which takes away from some of the power. It’s also much different from the others in that it’s all about finding love.

5. Late
The lyrics are repetitive which is somewhat annoying, but the song is so amazing that it totally makes up for it. The R&B influences are very evident throughout, and again, it’s another one of my favorites. Again, Tyler Carter’s voice just sounds perfect and can convey every emotion just by singing.

6. Old Dena
This song is super awkward, and it’s really just filler. The song is very odd and it’s a bunch of random people talking about their friends in Pasadena. The beat is really cool, but there’s nothing to it.

7. Stingray Affliction
The seventh track is another great track. It’s not my favorite, but it’s definitely one of the better songs on the album. It’s all about the men in the hardcore scene who think that they’re above everyone else because they listen to hardcore music and disrespect women. The vocals are very pretty

8. Never Lose Your Flames
This, again, is another one of my favorites. The chorus is one of the best I’ve ever heard, especially in one section where Bohn screams, “I hope you make peace with your pain,” and Carter sings, “and never lose your flames.” Because I am somebody who has struggled a lot with coming to terms with their past, this song really means a lot to me. It’s just all around amazing, and there isn’t a single thing I’d change about it.

9. Personality Cult
The song is incredibly eerie, but it’s so beautiful at the same time. During the beginning, Carter sings, “This is who we are … ” and Bohn’s screams can be heard vaguely in the background. It’s such a creepy song but the lyrics and beat are so amazing, and still a lot of fun.

10. Tears on the Runway [Part 2] feat. Nylo
This is another one of my favorites, especially with Nylo in it. I had never heard of her prior to listening to this song, and her voice is just beautiful. They couldn’t have chosen a better vocalist for the song. Though she may not be very well known, she adds so much to the song. I don’t think I’d like it half as much without her.

11. The Settlement
The Settlement isn’t one of the better songs on the album. The beat is nice and some parts, especially during the chorus. The lyrics are beautiful, but Carter and Bohn’s voices just don’t seem to mesh as well on this song as they did on the others. Much like The Langdon House, it seems awkward and unfinished.

12. Disappear [Remember When]
As much as I love all the other songs on the album, this one is definitely my favorite. The song is about dealing with the loss of a loved one. Around Christmas, when I received the album, my grandmother passed away. The song has helped me come to terms so much with the loss. The song is stunning especially with the addition of a chorus. My favorite part is the end, when they sing, “You will be missed, but I know that you’re all better now.” After my grandmother had struggled with cancer for several months, listening to this song is so comforting. It’s a perfect way to end the album too.

All in all, it’s one of the best albums I’ve ever listened to — it’s very rare for me to like this many songs on an album. They’ve grown so much since their debut album, and I can’t wait to see where their career takes them from here.

4.5/5 Stars.