Falling In Reverse - Just Like You (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Falling In Reverse

Just Like You (2015)

Epitaph Records

First off, this isn't a slam review. I give everything a fair chance (Patrick Stump, now and forever).

But honestly, please tell me how a label like Epitaph associates itself with a band like Falling In Reverse? You've got spunky pop-punk in Joyce Manor, you've got emotionally resonating poetry in Pianos Become The Teeth and you've got close-to-pure contemporary rock in The Menzingers. But then this? Seems like a deliberate maintenance to cash in on the Warped Tour crowd because there's no substance, nor any style, to this record, as has been the case for FIR for years now.

"Chemical Prisoner" opens and it ain't bad. Riffy and pretty jam-worthy. Seriously, give it a chance. Amid Ronnie Radke's beef with I See Stars and all his fucked up antics in well, life, this song kinda has you feeling guilty that you may just end up liking a couple more tracks off Just Like You. And it's here I must tell you, how fucking wrong you are. Case in point, "Sexy Drug" -- one of the most chauvinistic and derogatory songs I've ever heard. Epitaph should be disgusted to have lyrics like this put out under their banner -- it's sexist as fuck and condescending to boot. How does a band like this exist? I seriously cringe for the future if this floats the Hot Topic crowd's boat because other bands did (somewhat) similar sounds so well, and much classier, and didn't survive. From Autumn To Ashes, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Emery and Atreyu (while not totally reminiscent of FIR) all made decent enough music that should have warranted bigger plugs than Radke's psychotic mind.

Cut to "Just Like You" and it feels like Miley Cyrus astral projected into Radke, who then astral projected into the All American Rejects, who then proceeded to spend a week coking it up with Rick James. Fluffy pop with no imagination, further demonstrating how this band represents most of what's wrong, not just with music, but the world today. If you bottle every asshole that ever existed into a record, it'd be this album, which honestly feels like a big Radke troll. The album intermittently gets heavier/screamo/hardcore later on... and I'm glad this happens because I've finally classified this band's brand -- it's shit-core. I mean you get a reminder how skilled the musicians can be on tracks like "Guillotine IV" which has shredding solos and an overall bad-ass ripping vibe but when Radke opens his mouth, it's like your ear automatically sends a message to the brain that it's contracted Ebola.

Honestly, I wish I could give this record a zero. Just like I wish I could give a zero to the band. And yes, if you haven't figured it out by now, I despise the lead. What I hate the most about FIR is that they're laughing their way to the bank counting their blessings and not rotting away in a cell next to Ian Watkins.