Designer Depression?

Undeniably, it’s become a fashion statement now to be dejected. And it’s being pushed everywhere, it’s extremely popular to wear all black nowadays and I’m sure the fashion industry knows this and is promoting it. Also, in mainstream music, the latest trend seems to be people being down, and maybe I’m just a conspiracy theorist or cynic, but I expect the record labels know this too and maybe certain bands and artists know which emotion to capitalise on. Designer Depression has hit the High Street.

You’re probably sat there now thinking “Look at this nobber sat on his high horse…” but I’ll freely admit I was roped in by depression-consumerism and I digged the image. Don’t get me wrong, I believe people get depressed and they deserve all the help that’s at hand should they require it, however there’s a certain clique of people who are there because it’s cool and a group of media and fashion moguls who are in it for the money. Out is the old, when music was a medium of Bob Dylan’s or the Sex Pistols’, used to express thoughts and feelings about the world around us. In now, is music centred around introspection, introversion, personal dilemma, getting dumped and etc. and so on and so forth… But, whatever turns you on and whatever floats your boat.

Eighteen Visions are a pop band whose lyrics tell many a woeful tale. The music is very much the merging of Good Charlotte and Funeral For A Friend, with elements of ‘Bleach’-era Nirvana in there. Each three-minuter is a predictable, bubblegum, metal-punk slice of the ‘Nu’ sound. ‘Screamo’ I believe is the latest in-word for this sort of stuff (What sort of music do you like then? Oh yeah, Screamo man! Hmm?) But, there’s potential amongst the stereotypical quiet, sweet verse; angry, heavy and shouty chorus, between the sustained power-chord, the repeatedly palm-muted low-end notes (‘Mr. Moustache’ riff, anyone?) and the odd pinched harmonic here and there.

The vocal harmonies are as standard as they come, until that cool little bit in ‘Waiting For The Heavens’, alike to The Beatles ‘Revolver’-style melodies. It doesn’t last long but, the slight waver in the note held by singer, James Hart, is an audio pleasure. The rest of the song, well, it starts with someone trying to be Nick Oliveri, failing, then reverting back to true 'Screamo' style.

‘This Time’ is not a bad track, with its main line being: “I can’t stop my mind.” Unfortunately for the band, fans of Evan Dando, will think ‘Stop My Head,’ reach for that “45 and whack it on the turntable instead…

I actually found myself enjoying ‘I Should Tell You.’ It’s predictable again, but in a cute way, starting off like a mellow Blondie record with Robbie Williams-cum-Dave Grohl singing, but then, yep, you know it has to kick in at some point. And sure as a fiddle, there’s the distortion and New Found Glory-esque vocalising right after bar eight. Oh well, at least no one can be caught waving their devil’s horns out of time.

All ‘Said and Done,’ the last track is too similar to Snow Patrol’s ‘Ways and Means’ for me, which reminds me, ‘Final Straw’ needs a listen. It’s refreshing trying something different for a change, makes you appreciate the music you love even more. (Oooooh , I know! You don’t have to listen to me though!)

To be fair and just though, this album is a bearable half an hour, but there’s a box and no thinking outside of it and if that’s your thing, fair enough. I’m not ‘feeling this!’ Send me to a rave!