Did the R&B / metalcore crossover crew deliver on album number two?
Sounding like the result of Jason Derulo spending a summer moshing on Warped Tour has helped establish Issues as one of rock’s hottest bands. R&B and metalcore might look like incredibly unlikely bedfellows on paper, but they’ve made it work. However, following their success so far, ‘Headspace’ proves that there really is such a thing as a difficult second album.
Half trying to stay true to what made them popular in the first place, but half trying to branch out into new areas, there are mixed results across the board. ‘Lost-N-Found’ is classic Issues complete with party-starting nu metal bounce, turntable scratching and Tyler Carter’s ever impressive silky smooth tones.
‘Blue Wall’ is the sound of the band at their heaviest and it carries a higher level of intensity reminiscent of their debut EP ‘Black Diamonds’. There are plenty of surprises on offer too, be it the old-school hip hop samples of ‘Flojo’ or the country-tinged ‘Yung & Dum’.
Not all these surprises are good though, the erratic funk-fuelled basslines of ‘The Realest’ are distracting rather than impressive, while co-vocalist Michael Bohn’s multiple attempts to sing rather than scream fall massively short of the mark. Plus, the likes of ‘Hero’ and ‘Rank Rider’ are textbook but missing the flair and hooks that made this band so exciting in the first place.
While there are moments that die-hard fans will lap up, it’s ultimately disappointing to see Issues failing to capitalise on their exciting early potential.