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  • Ashley Hall

Louder News: ISSUES - BEAUTIFUL OBLIVION

Introducing a number of genre influences, Issues have always sat inside their own spectrum of djent songwriting and soulful vocals, attracting core fans to their unique tones and screams. As the group devolve in numbers, they grow in prowess and musicianship in the latest instalment of Tyler, Josh, AJ and Sky's Beautiful Oblivion.



The first of the singles Tapping Out was a brief insight into the new world, designed to capture old fans and keep their attention for the following release (which certainly captured a lot of attention) with AJ (Guitar) adding the heavier vocals of the track. Dividing opinion among many of my social networks I embraced the change with welcome arms as its groove and funk basslines, which will become a brilliant commonality throughout the project, show a number of new influences. The group do well to utilise Tyler's undeniable ability and range matching licks of the arpeggio in a catchy hook.



On the other hand, Drink About It and Flexin' could be more associated with the vibe of the rest of the project, they surprisingly are some of the weaker tracks. Still covered in sassy pop delivery, a Michael Jackson prodigy emerges with a modernised character accompanied by new electronic harmonics that suitably slot within the new boundaries that the group intend to creep into.



Now, a disclaimer for the rest of the project, if you came to hear the vicious brutality of Blue Wall and it's iconic closing section you'll be greeted more with the signature riff style of Flojo from the previous release. Whilst they may have lost the metalcore aggressive nature of their youth, a combination of Ariana Grande synth and Josh's smooth Gospel drumming presents itself in Without You whilst a jumping octave selection wraps itself around a slinky bass groove. In fact, the defining element would most certainly be groove throughout the entirety of Beautiful Oblivion, experimenting with clever intervals and sonic space to punch through the signature Issues guitar tones. Rain even goes as far as taking the distortion away for some crisp clean tones that associate the group with a genre I've come to identify as Musician's music - the kind of tracks you discover in a YouTube rabbit hole.


The fluidity of the album and the switches between sharps and flats giving the opportunity for each member to express themselves with flair. The tracks seem to represent a sense of challenge for all four members, continuing the fun and bounce of the music that should translate live with ease. Second Best combines all of the intricacies of the projects mix to emphasise Josh's signature snare. The crescendo and power of the track makes me question its placement within the project due to its euphoric layering of Tylers screams. Get It Right is a closer reflection of the 2014 self-titled with melodies matching the best parts of the earlier record. Choirs form as backing vocalists with male and female voices contrasting rounding the low end and mid ranges into a smooth boost to Tyler's vocals. The only fault in production could be the sporadic and isolated bursts of the choir found it Find Forever, however, the clean jazzy guitar and the slick saxophone forgives the slight lapse.


The records emotive and theatrical style is executed with class and inspiration whilst retaining integrity to the Issues brand. The individual influences of each member are evident throughout which elevates them above their counterparts with authenticity and style. A collection of songs that express Tyler's newfound confidence and personality supported with instrumentals worthy of its own orchestral performance. Original groove and sweet melody dominate Beautiful Oblivion which only validates the purchase of a ticket to see them on their upcoming tour. Even if you are inclined to "early Issues" this album provides tasteful reference to their older projects with a renovated perspective on more mainstream influences with licks to die for.


Listen to Beautiful Oblivion on all major streaming platforms now.


Catch them on tour starting this weekend across the UK/EU.

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