Falling In Reverse – Just Like You


“Na na na na, I’m aware I am an asshole” chirps Ronnie Radke seconds into the perky title track of the third Falling In Reverse album, Just Like You (Epitaph); a relevant self-aware line for the people who find the former Escape The Fate frontman a hurdle to get over in and of himself. While some won’t listen to Megadeth because of Dave Mustaine’s crazy-ass bollock spouting (rather than the valid reason they haven’t done anything worthwhile for 25 years), liking Falling in Reverse shouldn’t mean forgiving or condoning his actions, as there has to be a separation between the man and the band.

Because, while Just Like You is not the album where Radke and his compadres grow up, it is the one where they produce a convincing, enjoyable slice of modern pop-rock fun and catchy metalcore.

‘Chemical Prisoner’, an energetic tune that recalls A at their best, kicks things off as the opening quartet of tunes of the album bring the sun and the fun, with staccato rock bouncing shoulder to shoulder with pop sensibilities. There are dashes of My Chemical Romance as spirited verses drop to half-time anthemic choruses, while English lead guitarist Jackie Vincent shines with a series of Yngwie-esque classical tinged solos. Some of the lyrics are dreadful, and the “OMG! You make me cum!” on ‘Sexy Drug’ will make parents the world over cringe, but the sugary swagger, the hook-filled rapid-vocal delivery in the verses and the festival-friendly chorus more than make up for it.

There’s plenty of looking to the big hitters for influence as ‘Just Like You’ could be Blink 182 jamming with Fall Out Boy while choruses throughout point to Def Leppard and Warrant albums in the collection. Elsewhere, ‘Guillotine IV’ and ‘The Bitter End’ showcase the other side of Falling… as they head back to beatdown town and out Asking Alexandria Asking Alexandria as they churn through the metalcore, but never at the expense of the chorus or the song. ‘My Heart’s To Blame’ is a slower, more considered number, not a million miles away from some of the more thoughtful moments of Sempiternal (RCA/Epitaph), and ‘Wait and See’ flits from Eminem to King 810 to Panic! At The Disco, further showing the diversity on offer.

What is interesting is that, while the grind of a track like ‘Die For You’ spices up proceedings and adds an impetus, where Falling In Reverse truly shine is when they cast off the trappings of trying to hang with the heavy, and let the pop rock bravado shine through. These guys can write hits, and while they could be a great rock band, they’re not much better than average when they do their metalcore thang – it makes you wonder if they’re trying to prove something that doesn’t need proving.

However, when all is said and done, Just Like You is a swag-bag full of new toys for their hordes of teenage fans to sing along and lose their shit to, and I have a feeling Ronnie and the boys are going to do pretty damn well out of it, thank you very much.




Falling In Reverse on Facebook


Wind Rose – Wardens of the West Wind


In for a penny, in for a pound, right? And sometimes that dividing line between success or failure is just how far you’re prepared to take things. Power Metal, with its origins heavily rooted in the extravagances of Yngwie and embracing and taking the more bombastic elements of symphonic music and film scores, is often guilty of not going far enough, playing the safe game mixing Europe with Helloween and churning out decent, if standard, fast-rock fare. On their second album, Wardens of the West Wind (Scarlet), Wind Rose follow in the boot-prints of countrymen Rhapsody by ramping things to the max, and to some effect.

See, where Rhapsody made a name for themselves was by being brave enough to make their music and songs epic; as grandiose, as pompous, as couldn’t-give-a-fuck-what’s-cool as possible, and to think outside re-writing Blind Guardian licks to wanting to create something monumental, something cinematic, something befitting of the grandest of stages. Wind Rose have produced a stirring, rousing album in the vein of Symphony of Enchanted Lands (Limb) that sets them apart from the majority of the others who sit in the Power Metal bubble by taking that chance to do something different. The movie that Wind Rose are tracking is more nautical than Rhapsody’s swords-and-dragons fantasy, as if a hero quest head-on collision of Pirates of the Caribbean and Waterworld was sound-tracked by a collaboration of Symphony X and Luca Turilli.

Attack is another area where Power Metal bands stand or fall, and Wind Rose bring the energy of a thousand marauding pirates fuelled by rum and the promise of treasures great hidden under an X. Francesco Cavalieri’s voice leads the quintet and is another competitive advantage, capable of drama, authority and melody, and making sense of the grandiloquence going on around him, pulling the power and the might cascading around him into strong, viable songs.

In a field that consists of a handful of giants and many who will struggle to achieve a status above mediocrity Wardens… positions Wind Rose as one to watch. If their live show can re-capture the exuberance on record, we will have a new name to light up the European scene.



Wind Rose on Facebook