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Aiden are a rock band from Seattle, America. A 5 piece band (well for this album anyway!) consisting of WiL Francis (vocalist), Angel Ibarra (guitarist), Jake Wambold (rhythm guitarist), Jake Davison (drummer) and Nick Wiggins (bassist). This line-up of the band has changed dramatically as Aiden progressed, now leaving them with only 4 members, 2 of them being 'original' members.
'Our Gangs Dark Oath' was their first of six albums and was released in 2004. The album itself had a huge range of reviews, some good, some bad, so I felt it was necessary to give my review as I personally love Aiden (I've seen the 17 times, and met them 15! Angel even remembered who I was!!!)
1) Our Gangs Dark Oath
A really bizarre starting to an album, what seems like loads of whispers, followed by an electric guitar...shortly followed by (maybe the band members!?!?) chanting 'Our Gangs Dark Oath'.
2) The Dawn Breaking Tide
This song shows their post-hardcore genre right through, it's heavy, it's fast and it's a great first song for the album. The lyrics are simply about drugs "Well it's drugs that are breaking us down now", which really does make sense as WiL has lost friends to drugs. The song it quite de-motivational really as the lyrics are showing how WiL gave in to temptation from the drugs "It's not time to give up". The song has a very abrupt ending...which leads perfectly into the next song.
3) I Set My Friends on Fire
I love this song, it's so up-tempo and you can see why I say they are unique...it's not really like another band I've heard of, although I wouldn't class them as punk personally, I would maybe say post-hardcore. This song, although sounding morbid with lyrics such as "I set my friends on fire", is actually a really good one, its definitely worth a listen and I encourage you all too. It has some awesome guitar in and WiL shows his ability to 'scream'.
4) Pledge Resistance
The guitar at the beginning of this song gives me goosebumps, its so electric, and with WiL's edgy voice over the top it makes it that much better. This song is simply about how much America has changed, and I think that the title shows that. With lyrics such as "America might change it's timeline if the media f*cked off", it really does make you think that this song is purely about how messed up America is in their eyes. The song itself is a good one, WiL's vocals vary so much and it's amazing how diverse he is.
5) Bridge of Reason, Shore of Faith
A rather distressing start to the song, which is a film excerpt from the great film 'Stand By Me', I do think though it works well. The song is another heavy one, WiL once again showing his diversity in his voice. The beat is a good steady one, and the message behind this song?! Well, with lyrics such as "We're all righteous, we have lost our faith", "Faith here we go, here we go, well it's all washed up", it doesn't really leave you to think much else apart from the fact that this song is about religion and having faith in something that doesn't make sense.
6) Life Left Behind
The beginning of this song is lovely, the lone guitar is beautiful and the soft drumming with WiL's soft yet raspy voice over it all. It's a relatively slow song for Aiden, which slowly picks up. I must admit I'm not a huge fan on the first change with the guitar in the beginning, it sounds wrong, but when the song picks up I think it's a great song. As mentioned in 'The Dawn Breaking Tide' about how WiL used to do drugs etc. well this song to me sounds like he is just looking back on his life, seeing how much it's changed, and how much he has achieved, the title of the song obviously shows that!
7) Looking Glass Eye
A heavy, yet fast track now, it's almost metal. I must admit I was very disappointed it went from being that heavy, to the very slow soft beginning...it really wasn't blended in well, but as the song progresses it gets its heaviness back, and it works really well. With lyrics like "I remember times when skies were grey", "I have found life" and "I've found a better life I promise you" kind of indicate that it has the same meaning as 'Life Left Behind', about how WiL has left his 'bad' life behind to make something of himself.
Another heavy-ish song now, it has a very similar feeling to the previous song. This song though, when you listen to the lyrics is basically WiL's life story, fifteen he was kicked out, sixteen saying goodbye to people for the last time, seventeen living on the streets, I think this song also proves how hard WiL's life was, and how hard he has worked for what he has done! I love the use of the phrase 'Live fast, die young' within this song and I think it works really well. I love this song, it's so meaningful and you can sense it, give it a listen and decide for yourself!
9) Kid Becomes The Dream
I love the guitar solo at the beginning with the drums over the top, its a great start to a track and when WiL's voice kicks in, the whole song picks up. I think that this song is great, mainly because it shows WiL's singing abilities and not just his 'screaming' abilities. The song itself is showing how even though bad things happen within life to not give up on what you dream about, and to still go for it. With lyrics like "I won't resist this life, become the dream" and "You'll always make mistakes in life, become the dream" to prove the meaning of this song.
10) Cold December
A slower song now, followed by a steady strum of the guitar, with WiL's mesmerising voice over the top. I love the way this song really does build up right from the beginning and it still shocks me when the song actually kicks in, and WiL's voice completely changes. The lyrics kind of show that this is an unconventional 'break-up' song possibly? "I will never trust again", "I will never love again". This is one of my favourite songs off the album, and I really recommend you listen to it!
11) World By Storm
This song actually starts off with a sound clip from an American film 'Boondock Saints', bit of trivia right there for you! Yet again another up beat song from Aiden, and I love this song, possibly one of my favourites ever by them, and may I just add this song is absolutely amazing live!!! I think the thing that makes me love this song so much is the meaning behind it all, my interpretation of the song is people standing up for what they believe in and keeping hold of their dreams and not giving up. I love it so much, bravo Aiden for creating one of my favourite all time songs!
12) [Untitled] (HIDDEN TRACK)
Now, I've put this as a separate track, mainly because it's a song within a song...this track is hidden at the end of 'World by Storm' and you have to wait about 11minutes to hear, but it is so worth it! It's a purely acoustic song, just an acoustic guitar and WiL's stunning voice. This track does contain some dark lyrics, "I can see those bloodstained sheets", however it is such a beautiful song. My interpretation of this song is a view on death, mainly due to the lyrics again "Where'd these demons come from tonight?", "Where'd these halo's come from tonight?", "I guess just one last trip to set us back, and tear us apart". I think this song is so beautifully made, and it does make me shed a tear it's that beautiful!
With a running time of 34minutes and 3seconds it is a relatively short album for what contains 12 tracks. Overall though I think this is a fantastic first album from what was an unheard of band. They have a very unique punk rock feel to them, and WiL's voice is fantastic! I would definitely recommend this album over any of their other albums, not because this is their best, but mainly because it shows how much Aiden have evolved with their music over time!
The songs themselves are very meaningful, each song has its own meaning, which is pretty obvious when you listen to the lyrics. I think that Aiden have proven that they're not just about making the music, but also spreading their messages via their amazing lyrics.