The brain-child of former Woe, Is Me members Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn, Atlanta’s Issues have been making waves since they began in Summer 2012. The band signed to Rise Records shortly after their formation and quickly released their debut single, “King of Amarillo”, a call to arms against their former bandmates. Woe, Is Me retaliated with their own track “I’ve Told You Once” and it began a seemingly never-ending feud. However, shortly before Woe called it quits, Carter and Bohn reconciled with their former band mates and were rumored to create a new version of “King of Amarillo” which would then feature former Woe, Is Me vocalist, Hance Alligood to prove that the beef was squashed. However, the plans for that were put on the backburner while Issues began work on their debut full-length. Months went by with no word from the band or the label, until late 2013. In December, the band finally released the lead single, “Stingray Affliction” and announced a February 18th, 2014 release for their debut, self-titled full-length on Rise Records.
If you were expecting anything like “Black Diamonds”, be prepared to be disappointed because the full-length takes a completely different approach. The release features far less electronic influence (minus DJ Scout’s interlude), much more heart and some of the best vocal work I’ve ever heard from Bohn and Carter collectively. The band made absolutely sure that wait would be worth it for their fans. This album even features Tyler rapping a bit, most notably on the track “Life of a Nine”, a track about the dangerous life of a prostitute. Carter lyrically made this album like an open window into his soul and finds some incredibly relate-able tracks. My favorite track on the album, “Tears on the Runway, Pt. 2” is an absolute tearjerker. The way that Carter and guest vocalist, Nylo, deliver this track is almost too much for the heart to bear and I’ve found myself crying every time it comes on. Of course, the band delivered some heavier tracks such as “Personality Cult”, “Sad Ghost”, which opens the album, and “The Settlement”. This album is all over the spectrum and there’s a little something for everyone on it.
Love ’em or hate ’em, Issues is sticking around and if you hated them on the release of the EP, you might find yourself eating your words after hearing “ISSUES” in full. One thing is absolutely undeniable and irrefutable, though, this group of guys know what they’re doing and are on their way up the mountain of success. “ISSUES” could very well be their break-out album, featuring their best work to date! So what are you waiting for? Check out the singles, “Stingray Affliction” and “Never Lose Your Flames” and then go pre-order your copy of “ISSUES” on Rise Records, using one or more of the links below!
“Stingray Affliction” Official Music Video