As I sat down to write this album review, I began to draw a blank because there are so many great things I want to say about this album. A few years ago Issues released their self-titled album and I was thoroughly impressed. It was a new, more mature sound created with new members who brought different elements to the table. It was definitely a step up from their Black Diamonds EP. This past Friday, Issues released their third and long awaited album, Headspace, and it is hands down their best work and arguably the best album to come out this year.
Clean vocalist Tyler Cater really shows of his range and vocal ability. He consistently gets better and better with each new release. He’s found a way to fuse pop, R&B and a hint of southern draw beautifully. Michael Bohn has stepped up his screaming game too! His vocals have gotten cleaner and more precise. I will admit initially when I heard Michael’s sing-scream in The Realest, I wasn’t a fan. I thought this was Issues’ transition into “going soft” like other bands in the scene have been doing. I personally like the heavy stuff, the brutal breakdowns and and crushing vocals that make you want to punch your grandma. After listening to the entire album, I realized there is a perfect and equal blend of Michael’s singing and screaming. I’m definitely digging it now. Honestly, I don’t even care if Issues is going soft, they pull it off and do it well. It’s been really awesome to see Tyler and Michael grow from hometown heroes in A Path Less Traveled to the alternative music scene super stars that they are today.
Musically, this album shows significant gains from the last. Guitarist, AJ Rebollo shows off his impressive technical guitar skills throughout the entire album. He can get djenty, he can get a heavy, and he can write some incredibly catchy riffs. He can play it all, not to mention some BRUTAL vocals on Blue Wall. Bassist, Skyler Acord continues to solidify that he’s the maestro of bass in this music scene with his incredibly groovy playing style. If you don’t believe me, take a listen to The Realest or watch his play through video for that song. You can’t tell me your jaw didn’t drop. I feel like a lot of people don’t fully appreciate the art of drummer, Josh Manuel. A barrage of rudiments, on top of solid footwork and overall consistency make for some gorgeous jams. He puts in WORK. Last but certainly not least, Ty Acord. Although he stepped away from the band to pursue his now budding solo career, he contributed turntables, keyboards, synthesizers, programming, producing, and gnarly vocals on Flojo on this album. Is there anything this man can’t do? Everybody has that one friend that’s good at everything they try. Ty is that friend.
Overall I give this album 6 out of 5 stars and three thumbs up. Headspace is a masterpiece. If you’re debating on buying this album, stop debating. If you haven’t purchased it yet, wake up. This will be your summer anthem. Get on it! You can find the album F.Y.E., Best Buy, Target, Hot Topic and all major digital retailers. You can also stream the album below!