ARTIST: ISSUES

TITLE: BEAUTIFUL OBLIVION

LABEL: RISE RECORDS

RATING: 8/10

WORDS: JO COSGROVE

Bringing together catchy R&B beats with heavy guitar riffs and pop-adjacent vocals, it’s as if Issues made a genre of their own within the metal corner of rock. It can be a young teenager’s first introduction to metal and ease them into hardcore; or a metalhead’s guilty pleasure as they sing along, holding those long notes and reaching that falsetto. Issues are getting their unique rhythms stuck in heads again with ‘Beautiful Oblivion’, a mix that shouldn’t work but works too well and is expected to thrive in this undefinable era of alternative.

The sound runs around in circles, hitting different bases as it wins a home run. One single, ‘Drink About It’ is one of the more metal-centric tracks. Guitar shredding, cymbal crashing – and shockingly enough, the vocals don’t go as one may expect. Almost as clean as mainstream pop, lead vocalist Tyler Carter adds a smooth coating to a rough texture. It’s this sort of formula that gives Issues its image as a very unpredictable act with an equally unpredictable style.

“it’s as if Issues made a genre of their own within the metal corner of rock”

Issues has that potential to bridge the gap between pop and metal – which is closing ever so slightly over time but is still there – and they can do this without diminishing the power of their heavier side in order to allow their lighter side to bring in the listeners. ‘Second Best’ is another heavier track, with storms and lulls, distorted backing vocals and child-like chanting. It’s a more heartfelt track by the band, and so using their nu-metal side can be effective to put across the extremities of feelings within the words, but can still be one that could win over pop fans to the darker side of music. Being a collective that’ll never settle on a one-sound-fits-all rule, there’s no stopping them.

The catchiest anthem on the record is ‘Flexin” – one that stays on the pop/R&B end of the Issues spectrum. Putting it on the same record as the previously mentioned tracks makes sense, but at the same time can throw listeners who thought they perhaps moved on to another band on their service. The last single released from ‘Beautiful Oblivion‘ before its release, it shows the lighter side of the band that’s friendlier to the mainstream masses and one of the most likely tracks to be played on the radio. Full of life and joy, sprinkling punk elements gently, it showcases the versatility that makes Issues who they are and who fans love. Also, the music video showcases their more humorous side and gives the world a giggle.

“Issues brings out what many classify as “guilty pleasureS” and make it okay for PEOPLE to enjoy tHEM alongside alternative, metal and hardcore”

When Issues first started rising to fame just over five years ago, it was something new and interesting, but using the parts that have been assembled in the past. R&B mixed with metal, nu-metal blended with pop, and a stirred-up style that tickles all alternative fans’ fancies. What many forget is those in the alternative scene do hold other musical pleasures, whether this be R&B and hip-hop, or pop and electronic. Issues brings out what many classify as “guilty pleasures” and make it okay for people to enjoy them alongside alternative, metal and hardcore.

For a school prom or an alternative club night, Issues may become a DJ’s favourite for the rest of the year with ‘Beautiful Oblivion‘.

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