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Album Review: Forever The Sickest Kids - 'J.A.C.K'

25 June 2013 | 4:39 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Pop-punk with brains and extra sugar.

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Forever The Sickest Kids have launched a super catchy audio attack that will be lapped up by their fans in seconds. Extremely polished mainstream punk-pop with plenty of hooks that will make it hard for people who have even the slightest inkling of affection towards this genre to resist that is their cunning plan on the third release 'J.A.C.K'.

The keyboard and synth heavy style that ruled the group's debut has been swapped for a more organic tone, guitars are the main driver next to the vocals, which may give the impression that the band have matured, but the many chorus line doo-wops can easily undo that.

There is certainly more "rock" present, take the chorus of 'Playing With Fire', which is nearly 80's glam rock. However, if you put some One Direction vocals over the top of it, everyone who will love this song would spit on it in seconds without even noticing a difference, and that is why music is fucked, but I digress.

The real star of the 'J.A.C.K' show however is the production, which is happy to throw in a few curve balls, especially in the percussion, and save these songs from being stock standard. 'Ritalin (Born In America)' is a stand out, not because of the auto-tuned A Capella vocals that a band like Queen would have performed without effects, which open the song. But, because of the emotional and hooky lines that dominate everything past the first kick drum.

There are plenty of points, like the bubble gum 'Nice To Meet You' that will annoy due to their paint-by-numbers approach, but these are usually out-shined (and out-numbered) by moments like the near experimental 'Count On Me' and the hard hitting/atmospheric closer 'Cross My Heart', which make it hard to admit that Forever The Sickest Kids have a clever and unique approach to their pop-punk.

Some may say that ‘J.A.C.K’ is a more mature sound for Forever The Sickest Kids, some may say it is too sweet or even out-dated. The production values keep things interesting however and there are plenty of melodies to get stuck in your head, which is what you would probably expect from a band like this.

1. Chin Up

2. Don't Let Me Go

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3. Nice To Meet You

4. Nikki

5. Ritalin (Born In America)

6. Kick it!

7. Playing With Fire

8. Count On Me

9. La La Lainey

10. My Friends Save Me

11. Cross My Heart