After Adam Gontier left Three Days Grace in January 2013, a lot of fans feared for the future of the band. Their fear was warranted. Bassist Brad Walst’s brother, Matt Walst filled the shoes of Adam and this is their first release together. Maybe it would have been better for the band to call it quits...
I’ve spoken pretty negatively about it up until now. Let’s talk about the positives - the first half. Some of the band’s biggest jams are found here - ‘I Am Machine,’ ‘Painkiller,’ and ‘Human Race’ all show the band can still bring some great songs into the mix. The album opens up on a passive-aggressive note with ‘Human Race,’ a track that showcases Walst’s ability to live up to Gontier vocally. To be honest, the part about this song that made me love it so much was the verses, or, more specifically, the guitar in the verses. Great playing that keeps the song rolling. Sure, the rest of it is somewhat cliché, but it all builds up to one big jam. ‘Painkiller’ delivers the same energy, yet still a bit cliché in the grand scheme of things. It’s a jam, so it serves it’s purpose. The next two tracks, ‘Fallen Angel’ and ‘Landmine’ start to falter a little, as the album starts to drone on with these guitar-driven, basic songs. ‘Tell Me Why’ is the worst on the first half, not really expanding off of anything new. Painfully cliché at this point. ‘I Am Machine’ revitalizes the album, as it’s the first track since ‘Human Race’ to exhibit some emotion.
This is where everything falls apart - and by everything, I mean nothing is right about the second half of the album. The next six tracks are nothing but cliché, horribly written, sloppy songs that ruin not only the flow of the album but the entire thing. You can tell by it’s title, ‘So What’ is nothing but some angsty rock song that makes them seem like they’re trying to be Nirvana. ‘Car Crash’ earned the award for “second song I’ve given a rating of 1-star too.” The worst song on the album, it sounds like a middle schooler could have written it. ‘Nothing’s Fair In Love And War’ is a song that’s been written hundreds of times before by hundreds of other bands. ‘One Too Many’ is the another pathetically written track, sloppy and uninspired. ‘The End Is Not The Answer’ doesn’t even need an explanation to how bad it is, you can tell from the title. Even if it’s trying to convey a good message, it does it in as obvious of a way as possible. ‘The Real You’ is really bad, too.
If anything is to be taken from this album, it’s that Three Days Grace basically needed filler tracks to close out the album. I found a similar trend in their last album, 2012′s Transit Of Venus, where all the listenable tracks were placed in the first half, but then the album lost focus and became hilariously bad by the end. Perhaps releasing 6-song EPs would do this bad some favors, instead of littering their catalogue with horrendous tracks. Had the band not included the second half of songs into the album, I would have enjoyed it FAR more. If one thing can be said, don’t go into this album expecting good lyrics, let alone listenable tracks as you approach the middle.
Favorite Tracks: Human Race, Painkiller, I Am Machine
Least Favorite Tracks: Car Crash, One Too Many (+ the rest of the second half)