Laugh at the Fakes – Dethrone the Crown21st October 2014
I have to admit I was genuinely interested when I first picked up Dethrone The Crown, the new album from Toronto based rockers Laugh At The Fakes. Although I hadn’t initially heard their previous 6 track EP One Night Only the band were tagged as being ‘Prog-Fused Hard Rock’, and with the new release being mixed by Andy VanDette (Rush & Deep Purple) it certainly had potential promise. However this is the problem with expectations; they are rarely met.
The album art (a Death like character sitting on a throne in a dark and ominous forrest) is a little misleading for a band that are a cross between Dream Theatre and L.A Guns; yep thats right. I don’t have any problems with bands ‘crossing the streams’ as such; lots have done it. And to be fair the opening track Not Like Me starts quite well. A neat riff and some stabbing staccato rhythms catch the ear and everything sounds promising. However it is with the introduction of Everett Mason’s slick radio ready vocals that things start to get a bit suspect. Even when taking into consideration the subtle Alice in Chains-esque melody of the album opener it quickly becomes apparent that Dethrone The Crown is not going to follow the path suggested by it’s artwork.
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Death Awaits bounds along in remembrance of 80’s AOR until an unexpected and wholly respectable instrumental middle section allows the track a second wind and offers us insight into the bands true potential. However all this is quickly undone with the sickening Cut to the Chase; quite possibly the worse song I have had to listen to in recent years, and time that I will never get back.
From this point on Dethrone The Crown continues to thrill and confuse in equal measures. The album has plenty of killer guitar licks, clever time changes, and demonstrates that the band are capable of surprising the listener with progressive Metal transitions, but it is the vocal melodies and nods to cheesy Sunset Strip rock that for me, let this album down. The production of the album however is crystal and on listening to the band’s previous EP it is clear that Laugh At The Fakes are on a cline of the upward kind in both sound and ability.
In summary I have to give credit to Laugh At The Fakes for creating an album that holds nothing back in terms of musical ethics. They have recorded 9 songs that may not be consistent with regards to genre but certainly maintain a style that the band are comfortable with. And whilst not everyone’s bag, Dethrone The Crown should at least be given a chance as there are some seriously good moments on this album.
- Not Like Me
- Death Awaits
- Cut To The Chase
- Killing Time
- Fighting Dirty
- Got No Regrets
- Harmonica Playing Man
- And I
- Dethrone The Crown
18 November 2014