Hope and Suicide – Razorblade Smile

Hope and Suicide
Razorblade Smile

First of all, with a name like Hope and Suicide, an album title like Razorblade Smile, and song titles like “The Dead Hate the Living” and “You’re Easier to Medicate When You’re Tied Down,” you know exactly what kind of music you’re going to be getting. And it ain’t good.
I wanted to say that this band was the very definition of cliché, but I first wanted to check the dictionary to see the precise definition of the word. To my surprise, next to ‘cliché’ was a photo of five angry young lads with creative facial hair; all fingertapping, double bass-ing, and shouting like morons. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that from now on, the phrases “Hope and Suicide” and “cliché” are now interchangeable.
For example: “Razorblade Smile is the most Hope and Suicide album I’ve heard in a year.”
To be fair; right off the bat you can hear the immense technical talent of this band. They are shredding up riffs and leads with skill that would make most of the bignames turn their heads. Its just the lack of innovation that just kills it.
“The Dead Hate the Living” starts off exactly the same as at least 200 other metal songs in existence: big low tom bursts, big chord strums, and some creepy leads alternating in and out. Then comes the Godsmackish growl, then some double bass pedal, and some other stuff comes leaping in. Even though it’s not any good, it’s played well; so if you’re into big riffing and putting on headphones and drumming along, this will keep you busy for a while.
“Standard Issue Will” musically is one of the better tracks on the disk, but by the end it’s fallen into the worst cliché of all: the goblin voice. This phenomenon is lost on me, but rampant among the kids these days. You know when Gollum gets all pissy in The Two Towers? Yeah, its like that. Only set to 200bpm metal.
It almost amazes me that in the entire writing, touring, practicing, recording, and mixing process of this album, nobody in the band stopped and said to themselves, “Hey, how about we try something new and/or different in order to make an honest effort to stand out among the endless sea of dribble hardcore bands that bombard the ears of nice friendly music critics around the globe who hear 40 albums a day that sound exactly like this, most of which were written by 15 year olds?”
Well, it didn’t happen, so here we are.