October 17th of 2014 was a very exciting day for fans of the Atlanta, metal core band Issues, as they announced they would be releasing their first acoustic album Diamond Dreams – EP onto iTunes on December 2nd (2014) and as a deluxe reissue exclusively to Target on November 17th. This acoustic album offers a different look into the much loved band’s songs and writing. The new EP has acoustic versions of songs from the 2012 EP of Black Diamonds and the 2014 self titled album ISSUES.
The album starts off with a slower (most likely, it’s acoustic…what am i thinking…), version of the single Hooligans. The beginning is :43 of instrumental. The song talks about going for what you want and your future, without losing yourself because you know who you are and where you belong, “Patiently waiting to give up everything I got, start thinking about my future at the number one spot. / My friends think they lost me. / But I’m still the real me. / Hooligans / Got big hearts but they’re still some kids / Cali made, flashy sins. / Need nobody ’cause we know where we fit in,” (www.azlyrics.com).
The second song, is Disappear. From the beginning of this acoustic version, a wave of emotion hits you. Not only from the tone of Tyler Carter’s voice, but also the lyrics and the strumming pattern of the guitars. Throughout the whole song, I had goosebumps and I felt like crying. (That is literally no joke.) The main point of the song, is that of losing someone (to death), and missing them and having a hard time to deal with them not being with you anymore, “Take me over the coast of a better day / I’m stuck in my dark days / But I can be stronger than you remember / We’re coming up on December, but I’m not cold / My mind’s wide open like starry skies / I ask God questions and wonder why / The hell that you’re not here / I wanna disappear with you now,” (www.azlyrics.com).
The third track on the album is a reprise of King Of Amarillo. What they kept the same is the chorus and the bridge, other than that we have new lyrics. And when you first listen to it and you think it’s not the right song as per the title, you are not alone. I did the exact same thing. But even though they did change the lyrics, the main message of the song is still there. Talking about being a real artist and not just being in it for the fame, you got to be in it for your fans and to give them the real messages that they need. “It just seems like another fake scene / With no real message and a ton of fake things / And I feel it inside that I live for my team / My team is my fans and I got a purpose to serve them / With songs about having fun and getting real. / But I also write about being real, so they feel / Like somebody’s listening and somebody cares,” (www.youtube.com). Along with that there is also, “If they let you into heaven then I’d rather go to hell / You think you’re buying your way to the top with all that bullshit that you sell / God’s not naive like the fans you deceive. / Even the devil was an angel what the fuck did he achieve? / How about you listen to your soul and forget fame / You could still have a fucking name / I took it too far / I know the truth hurts,”(www.youtube.com).
Princeton Ave, is the fourth track on the album. Again, the band changed the lyrics a bit, but really no complaints. “What is a man, who lays a hand on his lover, and calls it tough love / What is a man, who can’t take a stand for his daughter, and calls it tough love / Man enough to see man enough to see, there ain’t a goddamn man in me,” (www.youtube.com). This song brings up the topic of violence, and more specifically physical abuse. “Hotel rooms, bourbon, and broads, a drifter thinking about living a life without God / You’ve done it now, you planted a seed, it’s like the devil in me / now the storm inside you, it swallows her / And to think you said you would never become,” (www.youtube.com). The song goes on to talk about, becoming the thing would never become, but yet the storm has started brewing inside of you and is taking over.
Diamond Dreams, is basically a short little interlude, with a catchy electronic/filter beat behind the short lyrics.
Taking the 6th spot on the album is Tears On The Runway Pt. 2. featuring Nylo. This is a slow ballad about someone, who is leaving and wants their partner to come with them, but they don’t want to cause they know what is in store, “Cause you left your tears on the runway / You think you’re running away / And you’re leaving all your troubles behind / But I’m not going with you this time / I don’t wanna try to pretend I’m somebody else / Take me as I am or be left alone / Tears on the runway,” (www.azlyrics.com).
The second last song from this EP is Never Lose Your Flames (NLYF) featuring Neck Deep. This meaningful song talks a lot about what other people say about you, stuff that really does not mean anything, but doing something else besides what they say you should do or what you will become, “Feeling like I’m nothing’s something that I’m getting used to / Trying to devise a plan that’s positively fool proof / Nobody can see me past these walls that I’ve been building / Now it’s starting to cave in but I won’t give up / If you got the keys then start the car and / Drive as far as you can / If you got the blood then you got the heart to / Give yourself a chance / Seems like you’ve been so scarred / Some people call it art / I hope you make peace with your pain / And never lose your flames,” (www.azlyrics.com).
The last song, is The Worst Of Them. (Thats the title. The song is not bad in anyway or the worst of them. It’s the title. I swear). Anyways, with this being the last track, it is another slow and swaying-type song. It talks about a relationship, one that seems to be a little complicated. “Funny how every time you push me away, you turn around and you beg me to stay / Cut down by the things you say, it’s the beating of a broken drum / One of these days you’ll push me away, turn around it’ll be too late / Your love is addictive, trying hard just to quit it / But you’re drowning yourself you won’t catch a breath until you admit it / Is anybody out there, I’m dying in a nightmare / You got third degree burns and now it’s your turn to feel what I feel / And if it don’t hurt then you know what we got ain’t real.”
Now I know some people are saying that they have heard theses versions before. They are right. Some of them have been released already, but the band did some readjustments and little changes to these versions, and they decided to put it out in a new album for all their fans. I am not going to sit here and try to tell you that these are totally new versions, but they put them all onto an album and that’s what we’re talking about and what I am reviewing.
As a whole this album/EP is an amazing set of songs that bring out a new feeling for the band and their songs.
If you wanna check out the full track listing, heres a link to the Rise Records YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKcGEIO7V0rWYXDn9yjQzxmsDnsqqFDmh
Alyssa (Rolling Music Reviews)