i used to think it was just a bad rip. But even with a supposed 320kbps version it sounds fucking terrible. At any sort of high volume its near unlistenable.
Firstly the voices.. When adopting the usual high pitched tone it genuinely pains me to listen to it, piercing and screeching its way right through me. I like the more baritone or growly vocals on Reverend Green and #1, but the rest is deeply unenjoyable. And i'm not talking from an old man's perspective here, i like noisy shit as much as everyone else.. these just suck Annoying doesn't quite cover it really.
But the high vocals are made doubly worse by the rest of the musical production. The high frequency vocals mix with music which is generally trebled up to the max, adding considerably to the screeched out factor. But there's no dynamics in the music at all, it just seems stonewalled to fuck. Put it through a graphic equaliser representation and i bet its one solid flat line at the distortion limit. Seriously, its as if Jacknife Lee has been at it, the archtypal modern pop record - compression and loudness over anything resembling enjoyment or realism
It doesn't help at all that the vocals are mixed so loud. They just become another overpowering block of sound, and above and beyond this concern, some of the now much more audible lyrics are fucking abysmal. Feels had a few clangers, but here its just a constant, overamplified stream of garbage. Or if not constant, then constantly noticeable
It's not terrible by any means, and i love a lot of the non lyrical songwriting. The flow and structure of the album is superb, with everything working against each other perfectly, and i'm sure if reproduced slightly differently it would be far better. But right now i can't rate it anywhere near as highly as i might've hoped, and each time i listen to it i find more to annoy me.
You might say that all the things i've mentioned were intended by the band to some extent. But even so, i think its a genuine misstep