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Some thoughts...
space beauty
astra_aurora
So, I'm curious. Have you guys ever really anticipated something, only for it to turn out to be a whole bundle of disappointment? 'cause I'm kinda in that position right now, with a side helping of anticipating something else, only for it to turn out to be a slap to the face.

This is gonna get long, so consider this line your warning.

OK. Once upon a time, a naive little fan (i.e. me) got very into the music of a band called New Years Day (the lack of apostrophe is intentional). I got into their music because they were touring with a band I like a lot (Angelspit), and one of the lead singers of the band described them as similar to one of my favourite bands (The Birthday Massacre). So, I checked them out, fell in love, blah blah blah, we all know the story.

(Incidentally, he was wrong when he compared them to TBM. They're really not that similar.)

To explain further, I need to go into the band's history, so get your books out, there may well be a quiz at the end.

NYD's first album, My Dear, was a cathartic album of break-up songs written to release all the pent-up emotional tension that occurs when several of your core members have just gone through break-ups, both in their relationships and with their former bands. It's a good album. It's really good. It has an honesty and a hint of rawness that gives it substance, because when listening to it, I didn't once doubt that the situations had happened. It wasn't like they wrote the album about a fictional break-up between fictional people, or about a break-up that had happened ten years ago. No, this was real.

Their follow-up EP, The Mechanical Heart, was a hell of a lot different. See, NYD's shtick isn't break-up songs. It's murder, and horror, and gore, and all that jazz. My Dear was a one-off. The Mechanical Heart pretty much marks the point where the catharsis stops and they start making the music they really want to make. It's actually not that bad. The songs are easy to listen to and very catchy, and they're well-constructed and very well performed.

Aaaaaand then they released their second album, Victim To Villain. Let the problems commence.

Now, since as of this writing, they've only released two albums, I can't actually label them either a Sophomore Slump or a Second Season Downfall (I'm not linking, they're TV Tropes references and I'd prefer that anyone reading this actually continue reading it). To explain those references- Sophomore Slump is when the second release (whether it be album, TV season, whatever) isn't nearly as good as the first, but it gets better after that. Second Season Downfall is when the second season/album/whatever fails, and then the whole thing goes bust. But Victim To Villain is definitely not nearly as good as either The Mechanical Heart or My Dear. Why is that? Well...

I can't remember who said it, but someone once said about Cannibal Corpse, 'There are only so many ways you can say 'I am going to kill you horribly' before it stops being scary and starts being hilarious'. If you overuse your shtick, it stops being effective. Or, in the words of the Red Queen, 'It takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place'. You have to adapt and evolve to continue being interesting. The Birthday Massacre did it- they've released five albums and none are identical, all are interesting. Angelspit did it- they've released four albums and many EP's, and they keep coming up with new ways to use their fucked-up music. NYD... haven't. Part of the problem is also that they champion being unique, standing up for yourself, being a different person, even if it means you have to shed society's definitions and become what they see as evil in order to continue being your own person. (The album's title, Victim To Villain, reflects that- it's supposed to mean the transitional phase wherein one stops letting others push them around and instead turns to the dark side, just to be free of everyone else's bullshit.) And as one might imagine, this has turned their fan base into an entire flock of people, all proclaiming that they're different. Le eyeroll.

I'll be fair and say that there's nothing wrong with championing uniqueness. But it's really not coming through in the music. They went from dark lyrics, light rock to dark lyrics, near metal rock. And it doesn't sound nearly as good. It's like they lost a fuckton of what made them unique as they tried to live up to the image they think others see them as. Victim To Villain sounds polished and perfected- and fake. They don't sound like they're just making the music they like any more, and that just fucking sucks.
I could give you a track-by-track breakdown, but this isn't actually about Victim To Villain. This is about the video NYD made for the eighth track, "Angel Eyes".

(If anyone's wondering, of the eleven songs on the track, 6 of them suck. Yeah, that's how bad it is- and of the other 5 songs, only one doesn't sound fake ("Hello Darkness", if you're wondering). It's really not good.)

See, Victim To Villain made me depressed. But the video for "Angel Eyes" triggered the unholy fuck out of me. I'm not even kidding, I spent hours feeling terrible because of it. But let's look at why that is. I'll start a new post, 'cause yeah, this is long.

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Boo when awesome things turn out to disappoint. :( I am sorry it turned out that way.

Yeah. I hope their next album is better.

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