If Wes Craven was a genre of music, it would be New Years Day. For the most part, Ash Costello and gang have depended on a recipe of heartbreak mixed in with edgy guitars and a punk rock attitude. On their fourth release Unbreakable (Another Century) they break free from their comfort zone with a more confident, electro-fused, uplifting follow-up.
At least it tries to. Leading off with ‘Come for Me’ we are presented with the same, generic formula the California bred band have produced for their fifteen-year career. It’s the same nu-metal riffs with the spooky theme. Yet, ‘MissUnderstood’ is this electric, pop tune—reminiscent of Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’—you know where a reputation goes to die and dances freely about it. Accompanied by Costello’s softer hues in the body of the song and passionately blaring out in the catchy chorus, it’s a cool track. Then we have the ambient keyboard driven ‘Skeletons.’ The formula here is interesting—for one, it’s catchy but the further in, all the different elements sound like a mediocre attempt of what bands like Bring Me The Horizon have achieved. The title-track falls short with little momentum and the same old formula. But, ‘Shut Up’ reminds you that they are new again and want to bring you a radio-friendly but still full of angst song.
Where this album does shine is on the second half. ‘Poltergeist’ and ‘My Monsters’ are these synth-pop tunes that deserve your attention more than others— especially ‘My Monsters.’ It’s reminiscent of Pvris’ White Noise yet heavier. The call and response in ‘Break My Body’ is clever and energetic. The atmospheric and heavily dubstep ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ has the best chorus on the record—it’s melodic, smooth and memorable. Even the final song ‘I Survived’ provides a sultry, raw emotion the first half of the album could benefit from. If they continue in this direction, they can look at a longer career.
Where Unbreakable is good, it’s good. But where this album is not good, is just another New Year’s Day album stuck in a Haunted Mansion with the same old tricks. In the end, they have developed and broken free from their demons to create a more ambitious album.
6 / 10