Five Finger Death Punch - Got Your Six review


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Band: Five Finger Death Punch
Album: Got Your Six
Release date: August 2015

01. Got Your Six
02. Jekyll and Hyde
03. Wash It All Away
04. Ain't My Last Dance
05. My Nemesis
06. No Sudden Movement
07. Question Everything
08. Hell To Pay
09. Digging My Own Grave
10. Meet My Maker
11. Boots and Blood
12. You're Not My Kind [Deluxe bonus]
13. This Is My War [Deluxe bonus]
14. I Apologize [Deluxe bonus]

Whereas I'm somewhat ambivalent and on the fence with Five Finger Death Punch for the most part, liking the occasional track without their discography evoking a strong feeling either way, upon hearing Got Your Six, I can hear what the detractors decry, with the record serving as an epiphany and sonic evidence as to what they have been saying for years.

Much of Five Finger Death Punch's best work prior to this was usually on their upbeat tracks, the songs that are pure unadulterated adrenaline; it may not be complex or of great artistic merit, but dammit if you ever needed some music to crank up and get the blood flowing you could count on the band to do that. On Got Your Six, the band fail at even this; for the most part, the songs plod along at mid pace and limply shrug, whereas before they'd appear to have bravado. The few times the band try to placate fans of old, it is with tracks that are faded photocopies of a recipe that even they think is stale.

"Wash It All Away" is probably the highlight of the record, with a chorus that is simple but damn catchy at the same time. The slower, lighter build is a welcome change-up and the song charms you in its mid-paced and powered style rather than the try-hard nature of much of their usual material. Sometimes putting your heart on your sleeve is better than just flexing your muscles when trying to evoke a response from your audience.

"No Sudden Movement" and "Question Everything" are probably the only two other tracks I'd semi-salvage from this record. Both are passable tracks but not much more than that, and given that the band are quite prolific, I wouldn't hold onto them in case we don't get anything else down the road; they merely serve as brief respite from the rest of the album.

"Jekyll And Hyde" conceptually is an interesting idea, but is weighed down by poor execution and what appears to be (and if you will be so kind as to indulge me in being a literary critic for a moment) a big misunderstanding as to the story of said characters. Jekyll wants to be Hyde in order to live out the vices he cannot live out for fear of being caught; here, (presumably) Moody uses it as an analogy that he has an evil side… so he rails against the world for preventing him from being evil? This detour is the most interesting thing about the song anyway, it's bog standard and boring, "Oh E Yo E Yo" no.

The slower numbers like "My Nemesis" and "Diggin' My Grave" are by this point the paint-by-numbers semi-ballads that are standard inclusion on each of their albums; while in the past, tracks like "Far From Home" worked as they sounded fresh or they were of a higher quality, on Got Your Six, they sound like something the band through together to fulfil an obligation rather than any kind of artistic inspiration.

The rest of the album is a result of the crossed wires between the band members: do they want to be groove metal? Do they want to be mid-paced but hard-hitting? It's this lack of coherent direction that sees the band sleepwalk the album to its conclusion; from the song that strains itself at the leash in "Ain't My Last Dance", with Moody wanting to run ahead where the band walk behind him, to wannabe threatening "Boots And Blood", which sounds like the band didn't so much phone it in as took two tin cans, tied them together with string and lazily performed from their sofas.

Musically, the band don't play much of merit; nothing sounds terrible, but equally nothing sounds inspired or dying to make itself heard. Moody is probably the highlight of the album, he has a good voice and it gives you something to hang onto until each song draws itself to a close. The band aren't bad but they don't play anything that will catch your attention, which is even worse as you know they can do better and they don't put the effort in here. The riffs are bland and generic, while the drums hold down the rhythm and nothing else.

The album sounds fine from a sonic point of view; its edges have been smoothed down so as to fit perfectly on the radio, but it doesn't detract from the music (which ironically would have been a welcome respite), and allows the songs to breathe and express themselves.

Aside from being the smoking gun that detractors can point at, Got Your Six serves little other purpose. Five Finger Death Punch hit a low point with a hell of a thud; it won't be the worst thing you'll ever hear but it won't be the most inspired listen either.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 5
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Production: 7

Written by omne metallum | 05.07.2020


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