I’ve been listening to Hollywood Undead for a while, since they first dropped their debut, “Swan Songs”. It was a fun gimmick for a while, a bunch of emo boys rapping over rock/rap beats. However, it wore out its welcome very quickly. Songs became annoying, their voices got whinier, and I moved onto to greener pastures.
Their second album, “American Tragedy” was a bit better, but it still suffered from the same faults. Terrible flow, Mediocre lyrics, and lackluster production. There were only a few tracks that shined on that LP, especially “Bullet”‘.
Now let’s move onto the subject at hand: Notes From the Underground.
Let’s just say that getting a new singer hasn’t changed much. He sounds about the same as the previous lead. The hooks are much better than previous outings though, like on the song “Dead Bite”. The hook is really catchy (even if the lyrics make no sense to the song).
The songs I like out of the 11 are as follows: Dead Bite, From the Ground, and the first half of Pigskin.
“Dead Bite” has a pretty cool intro, with distorted guitars that also play throughout. The verses aren’t well rapped, but they are very catchy. The hook is good, as mentioned above.
“From The Ground” has a piano intro that randomly segues into a fast guitar riff. This also happens after the verse, over some screamed vocals. I love the screams at that part, but they last approximately 5 seconds. Then comes a decent, generic hook.
The first half of “Pigskin” is a fun club song that meanders into stupidity. It starts out playful, but then all it does is repeat the same thing over and over. It hurts my brain. Also, it probably has one of the worst lines ever. EVER.
“I’m so icey, I’m like ice cream.”
no. just no.
So the bad tracks. Well, basically everything else. I don’t want to do a track by track review of the other ones. They basically consist of:
1. Terrible production that sounds like they spent about 20 minutes on FL studio.
2. Terrible lyrics that could be written by an 8th grade, wanna-be rapper.
3. A ridiculously bad flow. like. so bad.
4. An incredibly cheesy hook that doesn’t fit in with the band’s image of “oh yeah, we wear masks, we’re so badass.”
I know that they’re trying to blend a sort of pop-rap with a pop-punk style, but they fail so hard. They need to focus on bringing all of the elements together more cohesively, and less amateurish. For example, rap artists usually have songs that are very braggy. However, these braggy raps are usually peppered with very personal things. The personal things don’t have to be depressing, introspective things, just personal things. That’s why rappers have such unique and memorable personas. They rap a certain way, talking about a certain thing, having their fan base get to know them. On the other hand, rock songs have a more general feel to them, allowing for interpretation. Rock songs usually have a deeper, more philosophical sense to them.
What Hollywood Undead does is rap, but with very general lyrics. All of the “punchlines” or brag raps is meaningless if we don’t know anything about them. The rest of the album consists of either “I’m so depressed” or “Man, I’m cool” in the most general way possible. I guess what I’m trying to say is that they should all get a personality. Make the flows different, make the lyrics unique, not just saying “I feel like there is a lion inside of me.” Like. What the hell?
All in all, this album was not a fun listen for me. I wouldn’t say it’s torture though, because torture lasts long. This album is 11 tracks, so it’s a lot quicker, like a bullet to the head.