When bands like Every Time I Die and He Is Legend broke away from the screamo scene and began to forge their own path, you knew others were set to follow. Chasing Victory are the latest bloodhounds to pick up the scent and with "Fiends", they deliver an energetic album that veers off into commercially warmer climates.
Much of "Fiends" is like an identity crisis put to music. There is considerable variation throughout the albums running time, yet nearly each track has an inclination to languish in poppy melodies. In that regard a lot of "Fiends" comes off like a sheep in wolves clothing; as for every scrappy The Bronx-reminiscent outburst, you also get a sappy attempt at Muse-like proto rock or even worse, bouncy pop-punk.
It's an interesting blend, but unfortunately it has many faults and never quite lives up to its potential. Perhaps it's because the mainstream influences are too blatant, but there are a number of times where the band sound more like they are trying to emulate rather than innovate and it costs them. However, when they do settle into a spastic aggressive groove, the results are generally quite favorable. Even so, now would be a good time for the band to decide what they are chasing - commercial success or artistic expression; as rarely do both gracefully intersect as is often proven here.
(3 / 5)