Review: Abandon All Ships! – Geeving

AbandonallShips1

Artist: Abandon All Ships!
Album: Geeving
Genre: BroCore
Label: Velocity/Rise

In the digital age of music, no single genre title can truly apply to any band. The advent of Myspace has fashioned more music niches than one could ever comprehend and as a result, many bands get wrongly placed. Take for instance every band with a synthesizer and breakdown: it’s simply not hardcore (at least in the generally accepted meaning). So, before another word is typed, let me state that I never claimed Geeving, the latest release from Velocity/Rise Records’ Abandon All Ships!, was hardcore or a “good” hardcore record. This is another beast that’s arisen as a result of the “new electronic age.” Some call it synth core, others dance core, but here at UTG it’s brocore and while definitely not a genre with lasting ability, there’s no denying its impact on mass culture (read: the youth of America).

Thankfully avoiding the pitfall of a pointless intro filled with awkwardly complex instrumentation or a half-hearted cal to arms, Abandon All Ships kick off Geeving with guns blazing as “Bro My God” (my pick for worst genre song title of the year) fills your headphones with screams and chugs typical of any band on this label. However, about halfway through, all aggression (and most likely respect from purists) goes out the window as the group’s ALWAYS auto-tuned singer arrives to bring some “soul” to the mix. It’s at this exact moment that I took a deep breath and let out a sigh for my hardcore heart because I knew the 30 minutes that followed would be a true test of patience.

Trying my best to remain open minded, I pushed onward, but there was no way to avoid the presence of Antares now infamous software on nearly every track of Geeving. Even the heaviest tracks, such as “Megawacko2.1,” and the relentlessly high energy “Family Goretrait,” are filled with line after line of poorly written, overly auto-tuned melody about love, loss, and the normal problems and dreams of any romantic between the ages of 11 and 87. One would think such a shameless acts would widen the bands appeal, but in all honesty, the strong discord between the vocals and screams resonates again and again and will more than likely turn away more than it welcomes.

Geeving isn’t all poor lyrics and digitalized melodies though, there is something here worth your time and it rhymes with shakedown. That’s right, if there’s one thing Abandon All Ships! showcase on their debut in a positive light it’s their comprehension of how to open up a pit. When not attempting to add something “pretty” to their tracks, AAS play balls to the wall, albeit overly simplistic, hardcore that kids [and us 20 somethings] will eat alive. I know, based on my description of auto-tune and synth that may be hard to believe, but I literally saw this first hand when AAS played my area recently. They pulled off an (extremely overused) wall of death even though they were the first of five “heavy” bands playing that evening and those in attendance went nuts. It’s nothing you want to tell your friends about (because who’d want to admit that a band who, at times, resemble Jersey Shore cast, impressed them?), but something to experience nonetheless.

On their debut release, Abandon All Ships! showcase a lot, but it all points to a need for better focus. A band this talented at creating heavy music that kids not only partake in, but want to buy has no need for auto-tune (the synth parts can stay though because even if you hate techno, they make you dance) and the fact they use it so often vastly lowers my overall opinion of the group. I get that auto-tune is all the rage now, but almost any act that pulled it off last year is hurting this year and with that in mind, Abandon All Ships! have a lot to prove moving forward. I can’t say you should skip this release because I’ll be damned if some of the breakdowns don’t rattle in your skull like the latest Gaga chorus, but Geeving falls far short of this band’s potential. If anything, wait for the stream and decide yourself, but, and I can’t stress this enough: APPROACH WITH CAUTION.

Score: 6.5/10
Written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Ryan

    Just listened through this album a few minutes ago, and I couldn’t agree more. Their EP really caught my attention, minus the production, and seeing them perform live on two occasions was pretty cool, but this album fell very short of expectations. Most of the songs are 3/5 on my iPod, and overall I’m left with a sense of boredom (cured instantly by the new Woe, Is Me album). My friend called me before I’d listened through it telling me he was heading to Best Buy to pick it up – I only regret not being able to warn him.

    The instrumentals are pretty good, but both sets of vocals leave a lot to desire. Like you said, autotune is wearing thin. The screaming, in my opinion, is too dry and lacking range. He tends to limit himself to 3 notes throughout the album, which lead to quite a few sighs on my part.

    I think these guys have talent, they’ve just yet to find it. Clearly, they know how to bring some new things to the table, but they’re also bringing old, unwanted things.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your review of this and plan to follow your future posts.

  • James

    Thanks for your comment Ryan, I appreciate the input. We’re just relaunching our reviews section, so be on the look out for more in the coming days!

  • Thank you very much for posting, it’s really useful for me

  • hailey

    I love this band the CD, it’s amazing!

  • Jutmccoy

    This review was spot on. Good Job.

  • vikings622

    IMO an ok album, take out the autotune and its a really good cd. The mix of techno with hardcore works with AAS. To me UNDERØATH does the best with keyboards and synthesizer mixed with hardcore.

  • Kylepeck11

    hell nah this band knows what theyre doing by bringing the autotune in. it gives them a clean christian sound that they originally set out to be

  • Lazer569

    I think you are far to generous giving a 6.5/10, all you have to do is compare their EP to this album and you would automatically knock that 6.5 down to a 5/10

  • Nexismyname

    Seem’s a little unfairly biased against anything with auto-tune. The review carries the air of “I listen to metal so I am holier than thou” sort of feel that I’ve become so tired of.