Label: Warner Music Japan - none • Format: CD Promo • Country: Japan • Genre: Rock • Style: Metalcore
Release Date: Tracklist. Oddly positive score for such a sour outlook on the band on their current state but otherwise this review was fairly good. I would avoid getting to "track by track" and try talking more so about the album as a whole.
This band never really appealed to me so I don't think this would be the place to start. Album Rating: 3. Album Rating: 4. Regardless of that I seem to love everything they put out, even though I have no respect for them as a band and they seem like a bunch of "rockstar lifestyle" assholes. I'm not gonna say I'm very surprised, but Runaways was a surprisingly great concept album. I'll always love Dave though, hopefully that stuff he's been teasing on his FB amounts to something.
The first two albums are great regardless. This one's a bit more hit-or-miss, but Lucky Us is one of my personal favorites of theirs ever. Album Rating: 5. Crown the Empire Retrograde 3.
Review Summary: A potential legacy thrown away, left forever with questions of "what if" and "what could have been? Perhaps it's seeing a singer, actor or athlete you admire or consider a role model being arrested or put on trial. In mere seconds, you either grow immense disdain for that person or simply fade Are You Coming With Me? - Crown The Empire - Retrograde from them, not giving them the attention you once did.
Crown the Empire in its current state play a similar role for me. More than a year removed from the release of their third studio album Retrograde ; co-lead vocalist Dave Escamilla has exited the band and the remaining four members How Could You Leave Me (Zelensky Remix) - Da Buzz - The Moment (Remix Collection) (File) the group have been very open that their most recent project's lyrics were not written by the band themselves.
The band also insulted Escamilla when he left the band, claiming he had never contributed creatively to the band over his four years with them. When those revelations surfaced this past January, my perception of a band I'd largely admired was forever tarnished. Crown the Empire weren't the most groundbreaking band to begin with, for sure, but they were certainly among the most talented and cunning the Warped Tour circuit had seen in some times.
The epic theatrics of their music videos and live performances. The charged up lyrics calling for rebellion and revolution. The band's first two albums, a pair of concept efforts, established the group as different and even better than most of their genre counterparts.
The group's shift into poppier rock stylings with Retrograde was, at the time of its release, another instance of a group looking to evolve, despite the catcalls of "sellouts" being thrown their way. Now looking back, Retrograde is, despite still being a great listen, a vapid and vacuous attempt at growing the band's commercial identity. Instrumental opener "SK" serves as what I feel is an absorbing of the band's established sound and trading it in for what's to come.
This Are You Coming With Me? - Crown The Empire - Retrograde bubbly piano refrain is your introduction to poppier overtones not found on the group's prior two outings. It's mid tempo rock ambitions are highly suited for the format; plenty of singalong value and very accessible for rock radio. Andy Leo and Escamilla are Are You Coming With Me? - Crown The Empire - Retrograde singers and while both men give great performances on this record, the composition itself is nothing groundbreaking.
Yes, metalcore bands do transitional tracks all the time. But this one is complete filler and does nothing more than stuff up the album's total runtime. Some eerie industrial overtones are present. Escamilla's screams border on deathcore territory and he even manages to pencil in some solid singing.
The track isn't as engaging as the band's back catalog, but it'll do in a pinch. This one doesn't just abandon what the group was known for before; "Oxygen" is an all out pop song, with lifeless, uninspired and simply bad vocals from Andy Leo.
Strong vocals from both men, plus Are You Coming With Me? - Crown The Empire - Retrograde great drumming from Brent Taddie make the track an album highlight. Andy Leo is great on his own, but Dave Escamilla? Good God, his performance on this closing cut is legendary. He puts forth legitimately one of the best vocal performances in the history of alternative rock music. This track would do well on any pop rock or alt rock station and closes Retrograde on a positive note.
A year ago, I would have told you that even with some pretty bad misfires, Retrograde is an excellent listen, one that must be heard. When concluded, I considered the album among the year's best releases and was anxious Miles Davis - In A Silent Way see if any alternative Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning - Hot Tuna - First Pull Up, Then Pull Down could hold a candle to it.
A week into the new year, Dave Escamilla announced his departure from Crown the Empire; he had taken a hiatus from touring months prior. His written departure and the band's badly dickish response was so revealing. The group wasn't even allowed into the studio to write lyrics. They were allowed to do nothing more than record the lyrics.
And the group accused their most talented member of never contributing anything creatively to the group throughout his four year stint with them. I remember reading those words. And as I read them, my admiration for one of the Warped Tour circuit's most talented new groups quickly turned sour.
What dicks these guys were to me now, to spit in the face of their most talented member and to contest that he wasn't creative enough, even though they were all denied access into the studio to do anything beyond recording. That was none of their faults, and here they were, deflecting blame onto Escamilla. Retrograde may still be a great album. But the aftermath of its release tarnished its actual greatness and threw away the group's chance at an eventual legacy in their genre.
God only knows what this band could have been had things hadn't transpired as they did and it's honestly quite disheartening to see great potential go to waste over such arbitrary squabbling. Retrograde is I Feel Like Buddy Holly - Alvin Stardust - I Feel Like Buddy Holly a seemingly appropriate album title, taking the band backwards to now start over, leaving what could have been to questions of "what if?
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