After emerging onto the scene with their R&B/metalcore fusion filled self titled first album, fans across the globe were waiting in anticipation of what Issues had to offer with their sophomore album Headspace. Remaining true to their eclectic sound, Headspace brings a mixture of influences. Ranging from all ends of the music spectrum, think nu-metal meets Justin Bieber meets metalcore.
Kicking off with the first single off the album The Realest is one of the stand out songs off the album. The funky, nu-metalesque bass offerings of Skyler Acord are a stand out feature of the song and continue much the same throughout the album. It’s groovy, it’s heavy, yet it’s poppy and bouncy. There is no one way of defining this band. With strong choruses throughout the album, songs like Yung and Dum and COMA provide a huge sound with anthemic sing-a-longs.
Flojo kicks things off with some turn table spinning and has some serious nu-metal vibes, once again greeted by a huge chorus with massive grooves. Followed by Hero, both songs are possibly lyrically addressing the pressure put on the band throughout their career so far, with lines like ‘In a mental prison, searching for my big break. I need less attention on all of my mistakes’. The band have a way of addressing interesting topics and through the mixture of delivery from Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn, the two contrasting sets of vocals pair together brilliantly.
Blue Wall is possibly Issues heaviest track to date. Addressing the issues of police brutality one of the stand out lines being ‘Caged like animals, wound up and released with their badge. Brutalize our streets, savages how many have to die to put an end to crooked swine’. This insightful song shows another side to Issues, one with more seriousness and cultural relevance.
Followed by Someone Who Does, this song appears to be a song for all the kids with broken homes who don’t have good relationships with their Dad’s. Again, they deliver some really passionate lyrics that come across really genuine and heartfelt. It’s a brutally honest song and you can feel the emotion throughout it.
Personally, before this album was released, I was a fan of Issues main ‘hits’ such as Hooligans, Mad At Myself and Stringray Affliction but had never really given Issues the time of day and listened to their back catalogue fully. Since the release of Headspace, a killer show at Koko and a huge set at Slam Dunk they are quickly becoming one of the most interesting bands around at the moment in my opinion. This new album is original, interesting and passionate. Give it a listen.