By definition, avant garde is “new and experimental”. Life Right Now’s debut album may be new and experimental for them, but how avant garde can electronic hardcore/metalcore actually get nowadays? Written by a super group made up of members from Atilla, It Lies Within, Nevada Rose and Deception of A Ghost, is this album just the ultimate mashup of an outdated genre?
There are clear references to each member’s respective bands and their influences such as We Came As Romans and Issues, which convey a certain standard in terms of creativity. However, the lyrical themes and production standard on display here would not suggest the tracks on offer here were written by established musicians. The names of certain tracks alone scream cliché, such as ‘Take A Picture It’ll Last Longer’, and a lot of the lyrics (those of which that can be deciphered) appear amateurish as they tell of hook-ups and stock phrasing. ‘That Dress Don’t Lie’ and ‘PCB’ especially stand as a reminder why Asking Alexandria changed their tune as the lyrics portray a downgraded ‘Not The American Average’ and make for an uncomfortable listen.
It's hard to escape the let down in production too, there are times when the overproduction drowns out the quality of the instrumentation and vocals. For example, in lead single ‘Wolfpack’ the synth melodies don’t match the guitar tones and the random record scratch diminishes what is otherwise a strong song.
Aside from this, it must be said that where the electronic elements are taken to the extreme, the majority of the time they match it in heaviness. This balance saves Avant Garde and does keep listeners on their toes. It also reinforces how well every instrument is executed, but you shouldn’t need the bad to emphasise the good.
Although the album title doesn’t match the sound, the band name certainly reflects their attitude. Stating their location on Facebook as “Worldwide Baby!”, beginning the opening track with “Yo! This is Life Right Now! 2019, baby!”, and shouting “I don’t know, bro, just fucking Google it” mid-song conveys they really are living for the present – and there is little thought for the future or self-awareness.
As this is only a side project, the pit falls of Avant Garde could be excused to an extent, but the novelty here wears off at worrying speed. While this genre is endearing in a sense as it is reminiscent of I See Stars and older EDM-enhanced Punk Goes Pop covers, Life Right Now’s lyricisms and over-production don’t allow it to progress any further than metalcore canon fodder.