Review: For the Fallen Dreams - Wasted Youth

 I can't help but worry a little when I look upon the album artwork of Wasted Youth, the fourth effort from constantly rising metalcore icons For the Fallen Dreams and note the inclusion of people drinking from shot glasses. That spells out the foundation for a great night out for seventeen year old me, rather than an image of wasting life. Maybe I'm just a terrible human being that will grow up to be a bitter regretful old man whose liver is hanging on by a thread. Either way, the album Wasted Youth has seen For the Fallen Dreams, a band who have always been fairly underrated in the grand scale on the new wave of American metalcore bands but a lasting longevity, has seen them go a little down the A Day to Remember path in roping in a little more pop punk for their musical style. And overall, their choice has taken away the quality that has made their previous work shine.

 Listening to this album is a little bit like audibly witnessing a band run out of ideas. Having listened to some tracks from last year's Back Burner before stepping into this album, it's quite shocking to see how fast a band's quality can fall. A high level of repetitiveness exists on this album. As Hollow opens with a crunching display of chugging breakdowns that last until some clean-vocal led melodies are required for a chorus, you can almost immediately tell that the overall style of the album isn't going to distance itself far from this style.

 There's a sad truth to many an opening thought as the next selection of tracks follow the same formula with such insipidity and such little impact that you're left thinking you might just have more fun sitting through Staind's discography. The band are meant to be finding their pop punk boots and pop punk is a genre that so much can be done with, especially when considering the ADTR comparison and influence they're trying to display, so it's extremely underwhelming to see that such a formulaic root is followed.

 Sometimes they make it work and you really manage to connect with the high charged riffage and desire to become part of a moshpit. The adrenaline packed riffage of Kalan Blehm on Until It Runs Out and When Push Comes to Shove and the grand pop punk hooks that open Always About you prove to be album highlights.

 But for the most part, the album feels completely devoid of any factors that makes listening to it feel like a solid proposition. Living a Lie drones on without any display of energy or enthusiasm, while Please Don't Hurt really lets frontman Dylan Ritcher let his inner Morrisey and puts on the most whiny performance possible that feels like a total drag and really turns listening to their songs into a chore, particularly on the short and shocking Waking Up Alone where, well, he can't sing to save himself.

 So, with high hopes for an album that could have been a breezing display of charged metalcore breakdowns that left a real impact on listeners, we instead find For the Fallen Dreams to be making minimal efforts on Wasted Youth, adding in a pop punk sound just to tap into the A Day to Remember fanbase. The songs are dull and uninspired and the amount of whinging emo stereotypes packed into Ritcher's performance and his lyrics feel like a parody of other metalcore bands. Go and listen to Relentless and Back Burner for stronger material from For the Fallen Dreams. This album feels like a waste of my youth. Now, I'll take my shot glasses and go.

For the Fallen Dreams' Wasted Youth is out now via Artery Recordings. The band will tour the UK in October on the Impericon Never Say Die! Tour with We Came As Romans, Blessthefall, Stick to Your Guns, Obey the Brave, At the Skylines, The Browning and At Dawn We Rage.