We As Human – We As Human


we as humanFirst thing that comes to mind straight from the first track is some similarities to Skillet, but on further investigation it was not surprising why, since they were discovered by Skillet’s, John Cooper and have an obvious influence from Skillet. More than Human fit neatly in the radio friendly rock bands like Skillet, Seven Day Slumber, Thousand foot Krutch and the like. Almost slip streaming in the wake of the above mentioned bands. I think from investigation having the name John Cooper attached to their brand, an being signed to Atlantic Records will open many doors for them. Skillet is a very good success story of good marketing versus good musicianship, and to follow in the wake, or hands held in that is not necessarily a bad thing, especially for an up and coming music band even though they started in about 2005. I think what works for We As Human at this point in time, is that they offer a similar sound to the likes of some of the above mentioned bands, whilst combining that with an overall strong release of which is not entirely generic of the scene; a scene that desperately needs and is looking for something fresh and new.

So it is no surprise to find that this release has had two songs reach the number one spot on the Christian Rock Charts already. Also it shows what happens when you have the right guy behind you, what can be achieved. Being in a band myself, marketing is a very important part in getting your music out there, and it takes a lot of sweat and tears sometimes, but it takes work, and very rarely things just happen the way you plan it, and even more rarely that your product just happens to be a success. I have seen top bands fall to the way side never noticed or heard of, because the marketing back bone of the band was non existent. It takes a lot of passion and belief in the product to also give it space and a chance for success.

Look this album is not free of what is wrong with the rock industry at this time, there are a few generic moments that breed familiarity to a point of watering down what could be a great album. The album starts a little rocky as it stumbles through a generic overload with “Strike Back” – the music video for some reason makes the song a little stronger. Its the over dramatized vocals, the familiar guitar riffs that just drown it for me. This album sounds like they were trying too hard to get a TV Spot for their songs, all the songs drive with what I call TV theme sounds if that’s the right words call it. Its the typical route many rock bands at the moment are trying to traverse down at the moment. I am not much of a commercial rock fan, and its the generics of that genre that kill me. The album bounces around from weak to strong, to moderate, depending on the song, maybe a better juggle of the songs might have strengthened the album a bit. Sometimes it is just the order of the songs that can change the momentum and strength of an album.

Look there is a lot of Skillet packaged here, and with John Cooper’s presence on this release in “Zombie” one of the more aggressive and a punch to the chest numbers will add commercial value and presence to the band, its like adding extra sweetener to the mix, and certainly fans of Skillet will find themselves digging in their pockets to follow support because of that relationship that John has forged with the band. His stamp of approval is all over the release; and although “Zombie” is a better fit for a Skillet album it adds backbone and validity to this release. “Dead man” is one of the stronger tracks on this album, but does fall close to coming across generic, but holds its self nicely on this release. Its a bit too radio friendly for my liking, as with songs such as “Bring to life”. Though “Bring to life” pushes the album into one of its strongest moments, and features as a highlight of the release, with its melodic energy and diversity. Its a well composed song that hits many of the proverbial hot spots for a hit record, its got that arena feel, its melodic enough to be radio friendly, and carries that melodic rock characteristic with energy and riot, all great variables in my book for a good song, chart worthy or not.

“We fall apart” the ‘ballad’ of the album falls a little short of being effective, and comes across a little generic and familiar. Another highlight of the album, again pushing the album out of the mediocre is, “Take the Bullets Away”, that has Lacy Sturm formerly of Flyleaf fame adding much needed credibility and strength to the song, which other wise would be another familiar and generic rock number. So Lacy’s inclusion on this song was a good call, whoever organized that…kudos.

I don’t think you gonna found fans of this kind of music disappointed, or too critical about it. Its radio friendly rock, period; stuff you listen to while you hanging with friends, driving your car, or buying some time before you move on to the next thing in your day. Its what one expects from commercial rock, no more no less. Its good listening music. Might not be the most engaging music ever, but you not exactly gonna turn off the player because its playing either.

If you are a fan of commercial radio friendly rock with some generic tendencies of the genre fused in the mix then this is for you, or if you are a plain Skillet fan, then don’t hesitate, just buy it, because you would love it regardless. I think sometimes the band seems too try too hard towards climatic Choruses and thus many of the songs sound or at-least run a similar formula, that is detrimental to the package as whole. There are indeed some rock monsters on this release that give the album the much needed push in the right direction, and certainly and hopefully the right foundation for future releases. Such songs as “Dead Man”, “Zombie”, “Take the Bullets Away”, perhaps even, “Sever”, are for me the muscle of this release that keep this album a float, and gives a clean cut of what the band is ultimately capable of. I think this music would go down better in a live format to be frank with my opinion. From a marketing perspective, one has to ask the question, if John Cooper did not discover them, or was not involved would the band see similar attention?, In that case is this release a page marker of what is able to be achieved with the right marketing people or protocols behind it, regardless if its a good or bad album.

Ultimately the album borders on playing it safe, by using some generic key rock elements to pull out a good release. I think this is primarily aimed at Skillet fans, trying to fill the market key hole in that rock sector, that is lacking sorely of some originality for some time now. No doubt these guys have some originality characteristics to them, but are they original enough, only future releases would be able to ultimately decide that. There have been many one hit wonders, bands that shone because of the right people and promotional support, right time, right place scenarios, but left to their own means stammered and fell. So hear is hoping We As Human are not that. You see from a technical aspect these guys are talented, and there is not much one can fault on that front, and looking at the numbers of fan support say on facebook, which is as when I saw it standing at 26.976 fans, they don’t need a review like mine to tell them they have made it, and certainly need not pay attention if I said they sucked. The honesty and realness of this release lies in these words by Cordle,“This record is not just a compilation of songs; every song is a part of my heart and this band and our story,” Cordle says. “This record is shaped by our history, and real stories of real things that five real guys have gone through.” “Yet the race isn’t for gold records and glory, though those things may well come. To hear Cordle tell it, We As Human will pursue nothing less than an authentic relationship with its fans, with the music giving them access to their lives far beyond the proverbial backstage pass.”
“We want out listeners to know that every word we sing, every word we say from the stage, comes from the core of who we are. It’s not just a show. We write about who we are, what we believe, and back that up with how we live our lives.” – about page on Facebook.

To bring the review to a close, there is enough aggression on ‘We As Human’ to keep the album energized and driving throughout. The lyrical content run on themes that seem to deal with the battle between our spiritual and sinful nature. Some of the lyrical content is weak and watered down, and run of the mill, and though this album has its predictable and slightly cliche moments there are a decent volume of songs on this release that are enjoyable and exciting that make for a solid rock release. However, Its not that those songs stand out compared to the barrage of quality rock songs out there though. The two songs that stand out for me, both boasted special guest inclusions, “Zombie” and “Take the Bullets Away”, of which the guests gave strength to the songs, not the band. Its an average release at best in my books, but We As Human is by no means a bad album, and for some it might actually be a good album. For me, because I have listened to thousands of bands in my time I got to say there is very little new here, but that does not denote the fact that this is a worthy debut and I wish them all the best with their musical career.

Rating: 6.5/10

Written by Donovan de Necker

01 Strike Back
02 Dead Man
03 Bring To Life
04 Let Me Drown
05 Zombie (Feat. John Cooper)
06 We Fall Apart
07 Take The Bullets Away (Feat. Lacey Sturm)
08 Taking Life
09 Sever
10 I Stand

Band members:
Justin Cordle-Vocals
Adam Osborne-Drums
Jake Jones-Guitar
Justin Forshaw – Guitar
Dave Draggoo-Bass

Record Label: Atlantic Records / World Records, June 2013

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission
USA: Metal Helm

Video below ‘Strike Back’

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