I pretty much hate myself right now. I hate myself because Hail the Villain is the type of group I’ve ripped a new asshole over the last decade or so. And yet, I can’t stop listening to their new album, Population: Declining. I don’t think I can use the excuse that I’m getting old, because old people won’t get anywhere near this. Unless I can say that my judgment is slipping, yeah maybe that’s it.

But for now, Hail the Villain is kind of cool. Ask me again in 6 years when they’ve had a few hit records, went more melodic and became a regular touring partner with Nickelback what I think though (they’re on Roadrunner so don’t think that’s out of the question).

Right now they are simply a fun blast of energy somewhere between hardcore (if I knew what post-hardcore was, they might be that), Papa Roach and any angry mainstream rock band that may or may not wear makeup while sitting at home watching Jersey Shore.

”Try Hating the World” is a crazy blast of guitars punctuated by a sing-along chorus ready to be an anthem of scorned teenagers worldwide. Any number of other songs like lead track ”Take Back the Fear” or semi-new metal-ish ”My Reward” could easily fit in next to whatever’s popular on rock radio these days — Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Skillet etc…

I’m kind of glad I heard about these guys via disc before the radio though. If I had heard anything from Hail the Villain through the airwaves, I probably wouldn’t have given it another thought but listening to the entire album in one shot as the first listen really went a long way to me liking this.

And it doesn’t hurt these guys at all that they have a very unique website — sort of Sin City-ish with an interactive murder mystery to work your way through. It’s a little frustrating if you’re a reviewer like me that just wants to find out some info about the damn album but quite cool if you’re just enjoying the music. The artwork to the disc is like a comic book and the first video for ”Take Back the Fear” is animated sex, guns and violence. I give them this, they are certainly going all out to promote their sound and vision and more power to them for starting out pretty damn strong.

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About the Author

Dave Steed

Dave Steed is all about music; 80's and metal to be exact. His iPod will shuffle from Culture Club to Slayer and he won't blink an eye. He's never heard Astral Weeks but thinks "Dazzey Duks" by Duice is the bomb. It's an odd little corner of the world he lives in.

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