Falling in Reverse – Coming Home (Album Review) – 07/04/2017
Ronnie Radke has explained Falling In Reverse‘s upcoming album Coming Home to Alternative Press as “a huge left turn. It sounds like nothing we’ve ever done. Every song is very vibey. There’s more feeling in it.”
From the get-go Coming Home launches with the title track which seems way more epic than what you would find on the band’s previous work. It very much focuses on the idea that the album artwork instills in you with a spacey, open feeling that just builds as Radke yells ‘Hold on my dear, I’m coming home’. This song finished with a robotic voice that makes you think that the rest of the album will follow along the lines of a concept album but as you listen further into the album this does not seem to be the case. With the passing of My Chemical Romance it sounds like this song attempts to cement Falling in Reverse as one of the hard hitters of the emo-ballad and it’s surprising to say, it is not far off. Fully fledged with the corny stuff that we all secretly love like” yeahs”, “wooahs” and “lalalas” that Radke unashamedly includes in the bands music seems to solidify the band as being able to write a catchy hook filled pop song.
While Falling In Reverse has not total revamped their whole sound, for example, Radke’s vocals are still very Radke (like an over enthusiastic theatre actor) and there is a choice solo or two scattered across the LP. However, the album does vary as there seems to be a lot more fill, including large sections of electronic distortion and atmospheric filler. This is by no means a bad thing as it does make the album have more feel and also helps to fill out the tracks to make them a tad more epic.
It seems like Falling in Reverse like to go to crowd pleaser ‘swear and the kids will come’, and I’m not going to lie to you, it works. There is something catchy about their hit song ‘Just Like You’ off the band’s 2015 release of the same name. The same applies here, after a few listens to the album by the far the catchiest tracks are ‘Fuck You and All Your Friends’ and ‘I Hate Everyone’. The latter of the two even includes the cliché kick-snare and inspirational spoken word section that could be found in many emo-punk records back in the days that The Used and My Chem ruled the roost.
I’m Bad at Life is more of a ballad that goes from speaking of mental illness and sex on top of a a chugging rhyming guitar to a soaring chorus section that continues along the same lines as the song that has come before, making the band sound as big and epic as possible. The hook of the song being “I’ll give you bad advice because I’m bad at life’ attempts to hid hard here and I can’t personally tell whether it hits the mark or just vears off course a little. This song has the perfect amount of dynamics ranging from palm muted guitars to the loud and proud choruses. In this song, you will get to see the simple but iconic 80’s style guitar solo that might be found in a ballad from the likes of Bon Jovi, not face melting by any means but still a good time.
The rest of the tracks incorporate the spacey feel of the earlier songs on the album but lean towards a heavier vocal style from Radke and some heavier guitar parts. The few heavier parts on the album I personally prefer compared to the open, backing track feel that makes up the majority of the songs. The open style repeated throughout has the effect of making the songs seem fuller but oddly void of substance.
The album as a whole finishes on a more ‘classic’ Falling in Reverse, with Right Now. A mix between catchy pop-punk style guitar and Radke returning to his fast paced off-kilter lyrics. This song is sure to get you singing along in your head which is what you want from an album like this. Radke exclaims ‘I’m not a bad guy, it’s just my reputation is fucked, but I’ll embrace it, I’ve got no other choice and it sucks. If you don’t think that’s wrong, you’re as dumb as this song’. He is not wrong with his lyrics, the most lyrically cheeky and dumb song on the whole release it is something that nearly every Falling in Reverse wants to hear, it’s something you can sing along to while saying ‘Fuck You’ to the haters. This in fact is something Radke openly embraces with the next song Paparazzi exclaiming ‘I just wanna be famous’.
‘I’m not a bad guy, it’s just my reputation is sucks, but I’ll embrace it, I’ve got no other choice and it’s fucked. If you don’t think that’s wrong, you’re as dumb as this song’
While, by no means is this album as mature as some of the albums being released in the genre but it is fun, loud and something you can tap along to. The songs are not all as different as one might have hoped and while indivudal song dynamics are on point, the whole album does seem to sit in a groove and doesn’t want to move from that spot except for the last two tracks. But … It is safe to say that Radke was not just hyping his own band in his statement to Alternative Press, but he, was right, this album seems to have way more feeling to it that the ones that came before it. It is sometimes hard to assess the ‘feeling’ on Falling In Reverse album sas genuine as everything seems to come out as tongue in cheek, but this time it feels like the release has something more to sink your teeth into. All said and done, this LP has some bangers on there whether you are a tried and true fan of Falling In Reverse or not. This at least proves that Ronnie Radke (with the aid of his current band members), the original brain-child of Escape the Fate has come a very long way in his songwriting capabilities from ‘the good ol’ days’ and can still write a catchy as hell ‘fuck you’ song when he feels like it.