Denis Shaforostov was once just a young Ukraine teenager recording vocal and guitar covers in his bedroom into a webcam and then uploading them to YouTube. Like many cult leaders before him he started involuntarily amassing a following of minions who liked what they heard. Eventually Denis found some other willing participants for the new cult he was starting—a cult that goes by the name of Make Me Famous. In 2011 a Sumerian Records A&R scout was captured by Denis and his higher-ups. He was then brainwashed over the course of three days somewhere in the Ukraine hinterlands.
The executive flew back to the United States shortly after to tell everyone at the label that they must sign this amazing band, and they did. Denis and his cronies were on their way to the top of the post-hardcore food chain.
Shortly after signing, the Make Me Famous guys were pushed along the music industry post-hardcore conveyor belt. A series of delays and unbelievable excuses followed as to why the debut album It’s Now Or Never is now only being released a year after they were signed, if only the album had remained delayed.
You’ve heard it all before from other bands that were around long before Make Me Famous were; Asking Alexandria and Attack Attack! influences are plentiful on this album. Denis doesn’t make it a secret that the bands he was covering on his Youtube channel he’s basically ripped of on his bands album. In-fact if you visit Denis’ Youtube channel you can see the wide variety of covers he did of songs from artists like Woe, Is Me, Attack Attack!, Asking Alexandria and more. The very fact this album sounds like a direct rip-off of Asking Alexandria and Attack Attack! doesn’t help the situation. The song titles in true cliche style even have ridiculous song titles, I thought everyone had moved on from that, but it looks like Denis didn’t get the memo.
The blatant copying of song structure and electronics aside, the instrumentation aspect of this album is quite good. If you dig deep enough beneath the breakdowns and vocal effects you can sometimes catch a glimpse of a great guitar riff, I don’t doubt that Make Me Famous could write some shredding metal tunes, but the very fact they’ve decided to write an album that is essentially Asking Alexandria and Attack Attack! covers makes me wonder if these guys are merely in it for the fame (the band is called Make Me Famous, so I guess that kind of answers my own question).
Another aspect I enjoyed about this album were the brutally low vocals, they’re powerful and enjoyable to listen too, but still slightly monotonous. If Make Me Famous ditched the poppy clean vocals that are layered with so many effects it would put Britney Spears to shame they would instantly be more tolerable in my opinion. Considering Attack Attack! went that route, give it time and I’m sure Make Me Famous will also go down that path as well, most post-hardcore bands seem to go down the “we’re so brutal now, we use 7 string guitars and only scream” path eventually.
As a whole this album feels and sounds like a racially confused Chinese chef making a combination stir-fry with Chinese, Japanese, Australian and American ingredients because he’s unsure what the people like the best. By the sounds of it Make Me Famous don’t know what the fuck they want to sound like yet. There are fast songs, there are slow songs, songs with heavy pop vocals, songs without screaming, lots of synths and of course plenty of breakdowns.
Choose something and stick with it, don’t throw the kitchen sink at the wall and see what sticks. It honestly sounds like Denis and his band-mates sat around and said; “What do the scene kids like these days, is post-hardcore still all the rage, how about pop-punk, oh is dance music still popular? Oh, fuck it, lets just combine them all and see which songs the scene kids say are the best and base our next album material around the feedback. Profit!”
In terms of value It’s Now Or Never doesn’t really provide much. You’ve got your standard breakdown, scream/sing formula with a heavy dose of synthesisers and trashy European dance beats. I’m sure lots of people will like this rubbish and while it might not be as worse as Attack Attack!’s last album or other equally bad albums released in the past six months it treads the line quite closely. If Make Me Famous want to succeed they need a damn good producer who will help them create something that isn’t so incoherent and all over the place the second time around (if they don’t break up before then).
Rating: 4 out of 10.