With a name like World War Me, you be forgiven for asusming that this lot are just another of the many dregs of the MySpace scene come back to haunt an unsuspecting 2017. But that’s not exactly true. For one, this self-titled debut does have some tolerable songcraft on it. It might be completely derivative, overproduced and at times, obnoxious, but hey, it’s a start, right?
And ultimately, that songcraft does prove to be something of a saving grace here. At the very least, World War Me know their way around a catchy hook, as tracks like ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ and ‘Escape’ may have some glaringly obvious musical touchstones, but to deny this band their ability to write a soaring chorus would be unfair.
Then again, the proximity to said influences is the first major issue with this album, in that it’s hard to overlook just how much frontman Stephen Krypel is trying to ape Gerard Way. Take a track such as ‘Live With Ourselves’, a track that not only feels bizarrely thin and underdeveloped but with Krypel going so far as to emulate Way’s exact inflexions whenever possible. It screams of so little ingenuity going into this release. What’s more, with ‘Mr. Misery’ and the title track trying so desperately to be Falling In Reverse and The Used respectively, World War Me’s shameless strip-mining of mid-2000s emo and its offshoots, can become exasperating. Especially with completely unflattering production and a mix that’s totally devoid of real body.
Obviously there’s an audience for this sort of thing. My Chemical Romance and Falling In Reverse are still draws to this day, and to capitalise on that is exactly the sort of canny business move that’ll see a band like World War Me at least go some distance. But when that business move feels like the primary motivating factor, you need to wonder how worthwhile that actually is.
‘World War Me’ by World War Me is out now on SharpTone Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)