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Abandon All Ships - "Geeving" (CD)

Abandon All Ships - "Geeving" CD cover image

"Geeving" track listing:

1. Bro My God
2. Geeving
3. Megawacko 2.1
4. When Dreams Become Nightmares
5. Strange Love
6. Family Goretrait
7. Guardian Angel
8. Structures
9. Heaven
10. Take One Last Breath

Reviewed by on December 1, 2010

"On its debut full length album, 'Geeving,' the band touches on some great ideas but fails to materialize a definitive lasting impression."

Jersey Shore themed Christian dancecore. Well, that's a mouthful. Not only is it quite the phrase to describe a band’s style, but it is undoubtedly enough to turn off almost anyone who hears it. It’s a tough sell; a band could be the most technically proficient musicians in the world but if you're in the area of “Jersey Shore themed Christian dancecore” then chances are most people aren't even going to bother checking out your tunes. Now to be fair, if you decide to skip on Abandon All Ships you aren't missing anything mind-blowing in the musical department, and the lyrics are sub-par as well, but credit does need to be given where its due.

Ever since winning the second season of disBAND, a Canadian talent search show that focuses mainly on the pop demographic, Abandon All Ships has become quite a big name in Canada through both extensive touring and its infectious take on blending metalcore with Euro-Dance techno melodies. On its debut full length album, “Geeving,” the band touches on some great ideas but fails to materialize a definitive lasting impression.

“Geeving” is a very tough album to place, and to write about. While there is enough cheese contained within the album’s 10 tracks to make 50 cheese sandwiches, there are also a few great musical ideas. “Take One Last Breath,” “When Dreams Become Nightmares,” and the title track all offer an entertaining and fresh take on metalcore, which are worthy of repeated listens. The synth work here is directly influenced by that of European dance music and it works quite well on a select few tracks, at times even reaching a more Horse the Band style of technicality.

While those tracks are stand-outs, there is one that does peer above the others in quality while also highlighting a huge missed opportunity for the band. “Family Goretrait,” featuring a guest appearance from Protest the Hero vocalist Rody Walker, has an orchestral intro that would have fit well on any album from SepticFlesh or Dimmu Borgir. The song still does contain Abandon All Ships’ classic elements like the enormously heavy breakdowns, auto-tuned clean vocals, and euro sythn patches, but it is a fantastic listen and presents a style not heard on any of other tracks on this album. If only there were a few more tracks like this.

While having a few high points to return back to, there are yet many things to make one cringe. From the overly sappy “Guardian Angel,” featuring vocals from a member of t.A.T.u - yes t.A.T.u, to the one minute dance off of “Strange Love,” including lyrics promoting the Jersey Shore character Pauly D. It seems as if that every great idea from the band was countered with 10 horrible ones as an attempt at breaking through into the mainstream. If that was the band’s decision or one from its new, major-label management is unclear but when all is said and done “Geeving” leaves more to be desired with its plenty of bad choices.

Going forward, Abandon All Ships can really only go one of two ways. The band can either maintain its course on aiming for the shores of the mainstream, or it can repair the holes in its hull and take the more technical, brutal route to its music; of which there are moments on this disc. While the blending of metalcore with Euro-Dance melodies is done exceptionally well here, there is just not much left to grasp onto once this album has come and gone.

Highs: "Take One Last Breath," "Family Goretrait," "When Dreams Become Nightmares," and "Geeving"

Lows: A few beyond ridiculous decisions, all of which come together in "Strange Love"

Bottom line: For those who enjoy both techno and metal equally.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)