Despite never being held in such universal contempt as the likes of Nickelback, Adelitas Way have historically been tarred with the same brush. The common opinion is that they’re just another one of those bands peddling lowest common denominator, meat-headed radio rock with a tiny bit of metallic crunch. And while that admittedly may hold some truth, Getaway is a prime example of how Adelitas Way aren’t as awful as the vast majority of bands in their bracket.
The Las Vegas quartet’s fourth full-length doesn’t break any new ground musically – it’s very much straight down the middle, grunge-tinged hard rock in the vein of bands like Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin. While that may be the case though, Getaway sees Adelitas Way flaunting a bit more style that lets them inch past the competition. There’s an ever-evident classic rock flair here – especially on the title track – that gets the blood pumping more than the average band of their ilk, and frontman Rick DeJesus has a serious abundance of passion and character injected into his vocals, lending itself to the likes of the snarling Put You In Place to great effect. Getaway sees Adelitas Way branding the statement that there’s a lot more to them than what is often considered, and it does so with a consistently strong level of conviction.
Such conviction smoothly translates into the actual songs, some of the most potent examples of US radio rock you’re likely to hear this year. Low throws out a real blockbuster of a chorus, while I Get Around is a veritable steamroller of a track, and a prime example of how ‘straightforward’ isn’t necessarily conducive with ‘boring’. But while Adelitas Way work well by sticking to their guns, they also find success when turning their hands towards experimentation (itself usually a foreign concept with this type of band). Harbor The Fugitive serves as a true high point in its fusion of Nickelback’s more tolerable fare and something genuinely bordering on an understated, Paisley Underground-style jangle, and Filthy Heart attempts to stretch itself to nearly six minutes with the tiniest shreds of prog. Admittedly these instances are rather fleeting, but Adelitas Way are more than capable of making them count.
Where Getaway is let down most though, is in its own status of the type of album it is. The genre that Adelitas Way find themselves in is one bound by formula, and Getaway is most definitely formulaic, no matter how well said formula is manipulated. When put alongside bands who genuinely innovate on each of their releases, Getaway pales in comparison, and its strength really only seems pertinent amongst their own peers in their own scene. The fact that it’s an excellent example of how this type of rock can be done right is undeniable, but in a wider context it comes across as restricted. Viewed as an independent entity though, the main criticisms about this album are largely aesthetic, such as the horribly cringeworthy lyrics of opener Bad Reputation, or the uninspired rehashing of Shame.
Still, it can’t be taken away that Getaway completely surpasses any expectations. Even though they’ve never been the most prominent name in their scene, Adelitas Way have come out with an album that is better than most of the output of the ‘leaders’ by being both hugely infectious and a breath of fresh air in terms of quality of songs on offer. If this marks the start of a bold new chapter for Adelitas Way, this is certainly a fine way to kick it off.
For fans of: Three Days Grace, Pop Evil, Breaking Benjamin
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Getaway’ by Adelitas Way is released on 26th February on The Vegas Syn / The Fuel Music.