About four years ago, six boys created a MySpace account hoping to gain a few fans for the music they’d been working on. If one were to have stumbled across the page then, they would never have guessed just how quickly the band of fourteen and fifteen-year-olds would get noticed. With the help of a few other social networking websites, the band I See Stars would gain the attention of thousands of fans and, in 2008, land a deal with Sumerian Records. In 2009, the sextet released their first full-length CD 3D. With the album came incredible touring opportunities that further expanded their fan base.
In October 2010, I See Stars headed to the studio to record their latest LP, The End Of The World Party, with producer Cameron Mizell. After anxiously awaiting the release of the album, fans were finally put to ease when it was stocked into store shelves on February 22, 2011. The eleven-track album has a diverse mix of songs, all relating back to one thing: 2012.
The album opens with the title track “The End Of The World Party.” Johnson opens the song with powerful screams that lead into Devin Oliver’s invitation as he welcomes the listener to his End Of The World Party. The listener follows Oliver through the crowd as he lives up what just may be the last few hours of his life. The upbeat anthem sticks to the band’s rock roots, but when listened to closely, one can find dub-step wobble hidden under the heavy instrumentals, making it a great party song, end of the world or not.
If A Day To Remember’s “Out Of Time“ was put in a blended with All Time Low’s “Break Out! Break Out!” the result would be the tasty smoothie “Over It”. The second track off of The End Of The World Party starts of soft as Oliver reminisces a better day. As his frustration builds, the instrumentals follow suit and the song becomes an up-tempo, over which Oliver exclaims “We don’t need this/Fucking over it.” Johnson comes in at the 2 minute and 30 second mark, adding I See Stars’ edge to the overall generic pop-punk song.
“Wonderland” is the second single off of the album. The tagline “You ask why I’m so blue/I’ve been holding my breath for you” opens the song, only to repeat in the chorus. The line will be drilled into the listener’s head after just one play. The song is relatively short, running a total of 2 minutes and 29 seconds, but it doesn’t fail to make an impact. Johnson puts his all into the screams, coming in at about 2 minutes and closing the song on a great note.
Unless you’re the popular jock or the gorgeous star cheerleader, high school probably wasn’t the best four years of your life. “It Will Be Up (High School Never Ends)” relieves the years where the boys of I See Stars were told they would never make it. While listening to this song, one could picture Oliver standing at the podium, speaking to the graduating students. He tells his tale of high school and warns the teenagers of the paths they should and should not take. Throughout the song, he congratulates what may just be the last graduating class ever, the class of 2012.
“The Common Hours” was the last single released from I See Stars’ 3D. Track 8 of The End Of The World Party is titled “The Common Hours, Part II”, but despite the name, the song has no visible correlation to it’s preceding part. The song is probably the heaviest of the album, starting out with a strong bass line and like most of the sextet’s music, builds into a fast-paced vocal piece. Johnson’s screams in this track give the listener a shiver down their spine as eerie violins and heart-pounding double bass begin to play in time with his voice.
The album closes with “Pop Rock & Roll”. The longest song of the LP, running at almost 5 minutes, is the most heartfelt of all. “Pop Rock & Roll” is more pop than rock, but I See Stars makes it work with the rest of the album. Oliver sings of a girl he fell for, recalling the night they met and what may come in the future, “Yeah/I’m just a kid/But I can be strong/I can be anything at all/I can be yours/You can be mine/Just for tonight/I swear that it will feel right.” The track is the most well written song of the album, as the band is able to fit Johnson’s screams perfectly into what would otherwise be just another pop song.
The End Of The World Party shows a new side to I See Stars. The album showcases Devin Oliver’s voice, but does not leave the other members out of the spotlight. Each instrument plays a detrimental part in making an album that can flow from one track to the next so beautifully. There is no doubt that the six boys from 2006 have grown into six young men. Although the band may believe the world will end in 2012, let’s hope it doesn’t, because I See Stars has a bright future ahead of them. You can catch the band this Spring on The AP Tour and buy The End Of The World Party on iTunes here.
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Record Label: Sumerian Records
Recommended Tracks: “The End Of The World Party” “Wonderland” “The Common Hours, Part II”
For Fans Of: Our Last Night, All Time Low, A Day To Remember
Purchase On: iTunes
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