"Here we go again, it's the same old thing, it's all been done before".
Dylan Richter is addressing a sour relationship on "Resolvent Feelings" from his band FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS' fourth album, "Wasted Youth", yet it might as well be summarizing the group's songwriting scheme itself. Metalcore is on borrowed time, but don't tell that to FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS. In fact, don't tell them that the fourth time around is no different than the first three. They have a fan base they cater to and if you fall into that demographic, then "Wasted Youth" will satiate you plenty.
On the positive side, FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS are solid musicians. They have a sharp sense of mechanics and melody that gives each one of the songs on "Wasted Youth" a little bit of hope for ingenuity. Yet those fragments of anticipation are frustratingly dashed by breakdown after monotonous breakdown. Equally vexing is the band's tiresome agro-meets-saccharine emocore ethos that nearly everyone past their early twenties has set underneath their thumb on the reject button. "Hollow", "Until It Runs Out" and of course, "Resolvent Feelings" play this hapless card like it's the only one FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS has and it quickly turns the album into a pisser. There's only so long anyone outside of the group's supporters can stomach the routine shift between growling platitudes and syrupy swooning to make it too far into this record.
Even when the band takes a shot at speeding things up to full-on hardcore briskness on "Please Don't Hurt", "Pretending", "Always About You" and "Living a Lie", it's all for naught once the bludgeoning breakdowns curtail any sense of excitement FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS establishes. This writer, for one, has had more than enough of metal bands as a collective teasing us with furious thrash intros that skid to mid-tempo or even to a full halt of blas? crawling crunch rhythms. At one time, this was considered stylish time signature changing. Now it's a clich?, just like this entire album. If you're going to mosh, just mosh. Please. FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS would actually benefit from a straight-ahead thrash attack since they're close to exquisite in speed mode.
"Moving Forward" rolls at an armored snail's pace inside its breakdown-incorporated melody, but hell if it doesn't become the album's best track since it presents actual continuity and a worthy stab at an actual song. Still, the singular rat-a-tat drive is mirrored by the irksome breakdown interference everywhere else you're likely to miss this one altogether. Ditto for "No One to Blame", a near-silly round of power pop killed by the needless hard vs. clean butcher job hacking up the album's most tuneful moment. Don't blame them, it's right where you want them to be, assuming you're a fan. Everyone else will likely be casting stones.
The murky sound capture of Dylan Shippey's drum kicks has been likened to the sound of an archaic typewriter and that's as apropos a comparable as there can be. Nobody uses typewriters anymore. It's only a matter of time before nobody listens to metalcore anymore, either. Hopefully.