It’s interesting how we form our musical taste. I just completed a giant thesis on this topic, and take my word for it, it’s a very complicated process. But you don’t need a 50-page essay to recognize that the time in your life when you’re first exposed to an artist can have a major impact on the way you perceive them. It’s well-established that Aeromsith is my favorite band because it was the band that got me into music as a whole. But when I got my first iPod, I went on a journey of Rolling Stone-aided musical discovery that supplemented what I had already learned from Aerosmith and Guitar Hero. One of those bands I discovered during this time, and loved, was Adelitas Way.
Now that I am much more musically experienced, typically hate everything there is to hate about Modern Rock bands. Despite the fact that the genre has largely fallen from grace in the eyes of the majority of the public, these Rockers seem to have a superiority complex that would make even Stephanie McMahon grimace, especially considering that most of them totally suck. And frankly, there isn’t a lot to separate Adelitas Way from that pack of ineptitude and mediocrity. Yet, from their first self-titled album in 2009, through their subsequent two released Home School Valedictorian and Stuck, I’ve retained my soft spot toward them despite all that I’ve learned about myself and music in that time. Yeah, they’re lyrically just as bad as Shinedown and others of their ilk, but I’ve always found them to be sonically invigorating, mostly due to their guitar work, an impressive feat considering that through their first three albums, they never could retain the same guitarist. But with his second Adelitas Way appearance, it appears as though the Velvet Revolver-era Slash-influenced Robert Zakaryan has settled in as the band’s lock-in guitarist going forward, and I have no problem with that.
What I do have a problem with, however, is that Adelitas Way somehow managed to offer some form of evolution between each of their first three albums, but were unable to innovate in the slightest way between Stuck and their newest LP, Getaway. Both contain songs that are catchy enough to appeal to the Rock heads, both detail the problems Rick DeJesus goes through in his seemingly rather violent love life (seven years into his career and the dude still hasn’t found a woman that isn’t comparable to cocaine), and both feature overall nice vocal delivery from a lead singer with nothing to say. The one main difference: this album’s worse.
The first four songs on the album are right at home with the standouts of Stuck; “Bad Reputation,” which fans of Adelitas Way are more-than-familiar with by now, features a unique guitar pulse on the upbeat, “Getaway” recalls Rock music from the early ’00s (a much better time for the genre), and “Good Die Young” and “Low” both feature the nice guitar sonics that the band is known for. But it’s all downhill from there as DeJesus just doesn’t have enough to say to fill more than about 10 minutes of content. Every track is repetitive, which is alright in short spurts, but is extremely tiring to listen to after a few minutes (seriously, how many times does DeJesus say he gets around in the track of its namesake?). When “Filthy Heart,” which has a nice, more relaxed intro reaches its chorus and DeJesus lets loose “you make me feel like shit/I always wanted to say it: you’re such a bitch” it’s facepalm inducing and absolutely ruins all of the ground the band had made through the song’s first minute. By the time the album reaches it’s final few tracks, not only has Zakaryan run out of ideas, DeJesus’ words have not only gotten mundane, they reach the point of being offensive. “I’ll put my your picture in my Hall of Fame/You want my memory on your wall of shame” he says in “Shame,” which is a great example of the pot calling the kettle black, but nothing is worse than “Sometimes You’re Meant to Get Used,” which is probably the most offensive proliferation of rape culture this side of “Blurred Lines,” and somehow this one is worse.
Even after all of that negative and the worst album of their careers, though, I still haven’t heard enough to make me ready to disown one of my favorite bands, but I certainly won’t be as excited when their next album drops. Getaway‘s opening four tracks are worth a listen if you have an affinity for great riffs and don’t mind dramatically mundane vocals, but I would advise you to, indeed, get away while you can and skip the rest.