Looking for the next hot thing in emo? Well, keep looking. Escape the Fate is not going to be able to escape their fate. To be fair, Dying is Your Latest Fashion is not a terrible album it is just horribly lackluster.
It doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. It slips back and forth through emo, screamo, and pop-punk. It seems like they weren't sure what direction to take and chose to throw everything at the wall to see what would stick. I am vaguely reminded of Sugar Ray and their everything but the kitchen sink approach to Floored, and when "Fly" hit, every song after sounded just like it. Of course, that is a different case, but the comparison popped into my head and feels rather appropriate.
They start out promising enough with the catchy screamo of "The Webs We Weave." It has a decent groove to the main guitar riff, but by the end I was glad for it to be over as there wasn't much to it. From there, transition to the pop-punk of "When I Go Out, I Want to Go Out on a Chariot of Fire," a song that is not nearly as cool as the title would imply. Next up is the emo cut "Situations." Close out the first third of the album with a more metal inspired song called "The Guillotine." Coincidentally, this is the best song on the album. At this point, feel free to turn the CD off, otherwise repeat the song style order through the remainder.
I cannot shake this feeling that Escape the Fate was just trying their hand at these different sounds in an effort to see what would click with their potential audience. It is not like they are attempting to be a cross over band. It is possible it was label interference trying to get them to adapt to the "hot" sound, as I have read that their initial offering (a five song EP) was considerably stronger. A couple of those songs made the transition to this debut album, and they also happen to be the strongest songs there: "The Guillotine" and "There's No Sympathy for the Dead." I could honestly see them being a much better band if they followed up on the promise of those two songs. Instead, we get generic cuts like "When I Go Out…," "Reverse This Curse," "Friends and Alibis," and "Not Good Enough for Truth in Cliche."
Escape the Fate is sure to have fans that will flock to their black hair, eye shadow, and tight jeans image and their "deep and meaningful" lyrics, but why? There has to be other bands that do this better, and with a bit more integrity. Did anyone actually believe singer Ronnie Radke when he gave us this quote, "I don’t want to come off like an asshole, But we’re gonna be that change in music. I have a vision. I want people to have fun, put their fists in the air. We’re getting recognized in every city. It’s gonna happen. Watch. I’m not jokin’. We’re gonna be the biggest thing. So huge. I know it."
When I listen to Dying is Your Latest Fashion I do not hear any vision. I do not see a music changing force, nor delivering anything remotely memorable. It is a band with moderate talent that let it go to waste after showing some initial promise.
Bottomline. This would be best left on the shelf while more worthwhile pursuits are being explored. Or perhaps take the couple of good songs and add them to an MP3 mix of other similar bands that only have a little to offer. I am sure there are enough of these bands around that you could scrape up a decent little playlist.