In the music industry, it’s not unusual for a new band to be formed while dealing with the turmoil and drama of a former project. For ages now, tons of new acts have spawned from the result of beefing bandmates or broken chemistry. So, for the Los Angeles transplants, Issues, their upbringing into the music scene isn’t anything out of the ordinary. However, that doesn’t mean their music isn’t.
Now, before we touch on what makes Issues so special, we would be remiss not to mention the preceding act, Woe, Is Me. Birthed out of the Atlanta hardcore scene, Woe, Is Me – which included current Issues vocalists Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn – produced a heavy metalcore sound laden with electronic samples. Structuring their songs with the trendy metalcore combo of harsh screams and contrastingly clean vocals meshed between brutal breakdowns, Woe, is Me quickly rose in popularity. Releasing their album Number[s] in 2010 and hitting Warped Tour in 2011, things were moving seemingly well for this act. Flash forward a few months later, unhappy with how things were going, Carter announced he was leaving the band. Seven months later, Carter’s vocal partner, Bohn, also departed from the problematic Woe, Is Me. Determined to make the best of a new opportunity, Carter and Bohn linked up with guitarist A.J Rebollo, drummer Josh Manuel, bassist Skyler Acord and DJ Tyler “Scout” Acord to create Issues. As for Woe, Is Me, they called it a day in 2013.
Putting their shaky past behind them, Carter and Bohn, with the help of their new bandmates, have combined to create a new sound many in the “core” crowd have never heard before. Teetering close to the electronic metalcore sound of Woe, Is Me, Issues also incorporates other “non-metal” influences into their music. By just looking at the band’s roster, you’ll notice right away what one of those “non-metal” influences is. Issues has a DJ. After your first listen to Issues, you’ll also notice very quickly what the second “non-metal” influence is. Issues, at times, can be extremely poppy. Go ahead and say what you will about a metalcore band having a DJ and a top 40 pop flare to them, but we’re into it. Take the track “Never Lose Your Flames” for example. During the first 20-seconds of that track you feel like you’re listening to a Pandora station for 5 Seconds of Summer. However, things eventually pick up with punchy snare hits, down tuned guitars and Bohn’s signature growl. While the 5SOS intro may scare skeptics away, let’s turn the focus to a different track, “Stingray Affliction.” This slobberknocker will not only put doubters in their place, but it will also get them off their feet wanting to break something – in a good way, of course. This chaotic track is no joke. With Carter’s pop sensibility highlighted throughout this tune, it’s actually Bohn’s verses that impresses us the most. Possibly one of Issues’ heaviest songs, Bohn and co. completely go off with a heavy sound all headbangers can enjoy.
That being said, by just simply describing those two tracks, you can already see the diversity in Issues’ game. Whether you want to dance and sing your heart out to the tune of a poppy chorus or you want to break things and mosh around, don’t worry because the boys in Issues have you covered.