Album Review: Hollywood Undead - Five (V)
Everything makes Five the right name for this album – five mates, their fifth record, and the rating all rolled into one.
And, unfortunately, we’re not talking a straight five-star.
This is such a bizarre meeting of styles at times that it goes past being experimental and into a realm of just…weird. Slipknot without the bile.
Imagine hit Netflix show Stranger Things, but after a couple of episodes set in the 80s we find ourselves magically transported to the end of the Second World War with no reason.
They can really build aggression throughout their often rapped, always aggie versus. These are on the whole heavier than previous records. Only then, they burst into a euphoric pop chorus that undoes all that tension and vibe built up and releases a box of doves into the sky for no apparent reason.
You’ve got, for example, the Eminem-style beats of the verse in Whatever It Takes. Opener California Dreaming’s build-up sounds like it could have come off an early P.O.D. record. Then there’s that zapping feel to Riot, akin to when Korn went through their dubstep phase.
But just when you are ready to burst into a zone and let loose with your limbs, we are suddenly in the middle of a David Guetta chart offensive when a chorus kicks in.
It doesn’t work, you almost dread the end of the versus to discover what eye wincer is coming next.
So when we say this record is a 5/10, it is mainly because of those soft blips in the middle of a record sizzling aggression for the most part.
It jars, especially when they are throwing in expletive-laden choruses like in that aforementioned Riot. The clash is even more prominent. It’s like that Lonely Island micky-taking song with Natalie Portman where she just keeps jumping in and swearing maniacally at them.
We Own The Night is another perfect example of what we’ve discussed. Nicely built throughout the verse with chest thumping percussion and rhythm we are suddenly crooning at the top of the vocal range like Linkin Park used to do when they lost their way a little circa record number four.
If Hollywood Undead cut those choruses out this would be a good record!
Hollywood Undead play at Birmingham's O2 Academy on Friday, January 26 next year.