In Her Own Words are a pop-punk band from Los Angeles, CA that have always fought to differentiate themselves from other bands in the genre, but they've never truly succeeded with past releases.
Sadly, this album is no different. There are some positives to find, but there are almost as many negatives to rival any complements I can give. On one hand, the choruses they write are some of the catchiest you'll find in the scene. They rival that of State Champs and taking heavy influence from the likes of Neck Deep and Handguns. On the other, the verses are so bland and generic that they feel like a chore to get through, and I often found myself losing focus when trying to listen through the whole album in one sitting. A glaring exception to this are the tracks "I Would Sit Alone In Silence", "I Was Honest, You Were Lying", and "Silver Lights". All of these songs stand alone and show the true potential that lies beneath the surface with this band, only making the flaws of tracks like "Sink Your Teeth" and "Strangers" all the more disappointing.
This album is riddled with shoddy production choices that sometimes lead to accidental moments of clarity, but more often than not lead to a muddy, jumbled mess of a record. Vocals are drenched in reverb during some segments of songs, while remaining virtually untouched in others. The vocalist is clearly talented, but the pitch correction is so shaky that it makes it fairly obvious the vocals have been altered, occasionally distracting from an otherwise decent song. It all sounds like the producer wasn't sure whether he wanted the record to sound like With Confidence, Handguns, or Neck Deep, so he ended up mixing all of the worst elements of each band's signature styles together.
The one thing I can praise about the production is the choice in arrangements throughout the album. The harmonies and dueling lead vocals are used sparingly and have been placed masterfully in places that need the mix filled out, while letting the vocalist speak for himself in the verses and bridges. The guitar lines complement each other well (often some of the most memorable elements of the record) and the drums lock in perfectly with the rest of the rhythm section.
In the end, Unfamiliar feels lopsided and rushed. You can clearly tell which tracks had more time and effort put into them, and it leaves the album feeling truly unfinished. As a whole, In Her Own Words put out a new release which is too flawed to give a solid recommendation. On a track-by-track basis however, some real gems are buried within. If your interests are piqued, I'd suggest giving the tracks "I Was Honest, You Were Lying", "Silver Lights", "I Would Sit Alone In Silence", "Collapse", "Drag Me Down", and "Reverie" a listen. Pretend the other half of the album never happened.
In Her Own Words – Unfamiliar Album Info
Unfamiliar by In Her Own Words is available for purchase now as well as streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.
By Mike Casselman.