Release Date: Apr 7, 2017
Record label: Epitaph
Genre(s): Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Hardcore, Punk-Pop, Screamo
Keeping in line with the band's past stylistic shifts, Coming Home, the fourth set from Falling in Reverse, is another shift in trajectory. Taking the template from their metalcore debut and the production flourishes from Just Like You, album number four strikes a solid balance that is tailor-made for the wide range of tastes in an average Warped Tour crowd. Less brutal than Motionless in White and more melodic like Hands Like Houses or late-era Bring Me the Horizon, Coming Home also includes faint hints of more veteran bands like the Used ("Loser"), Silversun Pickups (indeed, on the "Panic Switch"-swiping "The Departure"), and pop-punk vets blink-182 and Simple Plan ("Paparazzi"), creating an exciting blend of styles that prevents the collection from ever seeming stagnant or indistinguishable.
It's not what you'd expect from Radke & co. Ronnie Radke is a borderline creative genius, capable of provoking unrivalled fury – but 'Coming Home' proves deeply underwhelming. Like a punk shaving off their mohawk, this fourth album sees Radke's provocative brilliance shed in favour of an expansive, slick sound. Gone is the outrage, replaced by a collection of unremarkable rock songs. The choruses on 'Coming Home' and 'Superhero' are colossal, but it's all so safe.
Touted as an exploration of the band's sound and described as a major departure by frontman Ronnie Radke, all the teasing surrounding FIR's fourth album seems to amount to is 11 variations on the millennial whoop songbook. All the emo-rooted, posthardcore stylistic hallmarks are present and correct, embellished with a load of electronic arsing about on top, but the almost constant use of the same soaring 'wo-ah' pop hooks will soon have you wanting to hack your ears off with a pair of blunt scissors. Throw in whiny and witless lyrical content that veers sharply into what sounds alarmingly like plain old self-pity - check out Broken, Loser, Fuck You And All Your Friends, I Hate Everyone, I'm Bad At Life, Hanging On… in fact, most of the album - and this is one pretty miserable party, albeit one that probably sounds immense through an iPhone and a pair of Beats.
You probably won't hide your feelings about Falling in Reverse. However, Epitaph knows that at the end of the day, it has a business to run and more power to them. First off, let me say that this album surprised me musically. There are a couple songs that instrumentally impress and actually would be pretty decent if not for singer, Ronnie Radke's lyrics.