There are three certainties in life: death, taxes and Black Diamonds being one of the most polarizing recordings to date in the scene.
Issues, comprised of Michael Bohn and Tyler Carter (of Woe, Is Me fame), A.J. Rebollo, Ty “Scout” Acord and Case Snedecor, decided to go all out. Blending genres, especially in the post-hardcore spectrum, can often turn out confusing or just plain awful.
While some argue the elements of hip hop, dubstep and pop vocals are out of place on the record, after taking time to listen again, the sound is easy to embrace. Issues is a band that has decided to do what they love, regardless of what everyone else may expect. Some hoped for Number(s) (W,IM’s debut album) 2.0 due to Bohn and Carter reuniting.
Despite it being a very different release than Number(s), the EP is catchy and aggressive all at once. Carter has, again, shown he is one of the most renowned clean vocalists in the genre. “Princeton Ave.” and “The Worst Of Them” show Carter stepped up his game and deserves recognition. Bohn, too, has great moments on the record, using his screamed vocals to his advantage in tracks such as “King Of Amarillo” and “Princeton Ave.”
The musicianship is also noteworthy. Though he is not a touring member, Acord brings hip-hop expertise and scratches on the record, giving it a unique element. Rebollo’s riffs are just heavy enough for the record, while Snedecor’s drumming remains solid.
Though it is a perplexing arrangement of genres, it simply works. Issues have shown that when it’s time to reinvent, you should embrace it and get out of the box you were put in prior. Thanks to that mentality, the record ends up being memorable and a great listen.
Recommended Tracks: “The Worst Of Them,” “King Of Amarillo” and “Princeton Ave.”
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