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Furious Styles - "Life Lessons" (CD)

Furious Styles - "Life Lessons" CD cover image

"Life Lessons" track listing:

1. Smile Now (Intro)
2. Round One
3. Time to Pay
4. Shatterproof
5. Ain't Gotta Lie to Kick It
6. Mind Your Business
7. On Blast (D.W.C.)
8. Unfadeable
9. Reality Check
10. Words of a King
11. Born on the Outside
12. ...Cry Later (Outro)

Reviewed by on December 30, 2007

"a tirade of fast, catchy guitar riffs, hooks, and grooves"

Furious Styles is a band I heard online and enjoyed enough to buy their latest album, "Life Lessons." I am not particularly a fan of rap-metal or rapcore, but I have nothing against it and enjoyed some of the [few] well-done projects from the '90s.

After a cliché rap-sounding intro track full of rap beats and "bad-ass" talk that nearly put me off the album from the start, the album kicks in with a tirade of fast, catchy guitar riffs, hooks, and grooves, a fast shouted/rapping vocal delivery, often bordering on hardcore shouting.

The first several tracks blend into one another almost seamlessly and most songs are less than two minutes long, with only a few crossing the three minute mark. This barely leaves time for repeated choruses much less breakdowns, but Furious Styles still manages to squeeze in the first breakdown on the fourth track, "Shatterproof."

These insanely fast, catchy tracks continue through to the ninth track, where the next three tracks really stand out more as songs on their own. "Reality Check" barely breaks the two-minute mark, but has time to establish a chorus and include a breakdown at the end, unfortunately not returning to the chorus or anything afterward. "Words of a King" is equally catchy and perhaps faster. The nearly epic-length "Born On The Outside" weighs in at almost four and a half minutes with a fade-out ending, and resembles the most complete song on the album.

With twelve tracks listed, one would expect more music from a full-length album. Sans intro and outtro, "Life Lessons" clocks in at under twenty five minutes of actual music, the average song length around two minutes each. Many of the songs could benefit from being extended by an additional chorus, a solo, etc., but they seem like they were simply not given the chance to develop fully. Still, what is on this album flows fairly well and is fast and extremely catchy, making it a fun listen, but a short-lived one. Furious Styles brings rapcore to the twenty-first century, but not for long.

Highs: Very fast and catchy riffing and music throughout.

Lows: Too short, many songs not given time to develop. Rapcore elements will not appeal to all.

Bottom line: This short-lived album is only worth buying to die-hard rapcore fans.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)