Blacklisted No One Deserves To Be Here More Than Me

Nine times out of ten, when a band jump into the studio within a year of releasing a widely acclaimed breakthrough album, the results will not meet expectations. While No One Deserves To Be Here More Than Me is an interesting progression from past material, it suffers from a severe lack of focus, among other questionable qualities. For one, half the songs are inoffensive, but ultimately skippable interludes. For another, Blacklisted fall back on third-rate Every Time I Die Southern licks far too often here, degrading the value of tracks that may have otherwise had potential. While their last release struck a palatable balance between their hardcore and rock influences, this one tips the scales uncomfortably far in the direction of the latter, which would be fine if the songs weren't, for the most part, fairly pedestrian. The strongest material recalls a more accessible Only Living Witness run through the wringer of modern hardcore; it's not unlistenable, but far from the band's finest moments. More time writing, or in the studio, next time, perhaps? A disappointment, but not one the band can't recover from. (Deathwish Inc.)