“Screamworks: Love In Theory And Practice, Chapters 1-13” (2010) by HIM
It’s no wonder that the majority of HIM’s fan base is made up of pre-teen girls. But it is a wonder that the same people that are completely against emo pop groups such as Fall Out Boy are into HIM. They really aren’t that different at all. A lot of the time, HIM gets called a metal band. HIM, metal band? Fuck off. Screamworks is a work of pure emo pop. The only people that call HIM a metal band are their fans - people who like to think of themselves as metalheads, but don’t enjoy real metal, so they’ve found an alternative which they think is just as cool.
If you want very cheesy lyrics set against even cheesier music, then you’ve come to the right place. That’s all there is on Screamworks. Bad riffs make up the majority of this record, alongside pretty poor vocals, lousy electronics and crappy, clichéd guitar solos. “We’ll drift along this river of sadness until we feel no pain”. Thirteen tracks at nearly fifty minutes is too long, especially for a record full of lame pop songs.
To be fair, Screamworks does what it sets out to do. I’m sure it will satisfy even the loudest screaming teenage girl. There’s plenty of heartbreak, loss and loneliness to go around on this record. Some can pull off sad emotions with perfection and honesty, and, some can’t. It’s a pity that HIM fall into this “can’t” category - it just doesn’t seem authentic. As I said, it’s enough for any HIM fan, but for anyone who isn’t preconditioned to their music, it’s not good enough. The lyrics are purely cringe-worthy.
The songs sound as if they were written by a machine, not by a human. Everything is so clean and perfect. Screamworks, just because of its themes, should be dirty and gritty, but instead it’s a crisply-produced emo pop record. Unless you’re a hardcore HIM/emo pop fan, it’s really not recommended.
Choice tracks: Scared To Death; Dying Song
If you like: Fall Out Boy; early My Chemical Romance