2004 Epitaph Records
02. The One Armed Boxer Vs. The Flying Guillotine
03. Note To Self MP3
04. I Liked You Better When You Were Naked On The Internet
05. Featuring Some Of Your Favorite Words
07. Secrets Don't Make Friends
08. Populace In Two
09. Kiss Me, I'm Contagious
11. Ride The Wings Of Pestilence
by Sean Loiselle
Their press release says it all, if you've seen it before. These kids are "a magnetic amalgam of…hardcore, rock & roll, blood curtling metal and punk ****in' rock." And I was right, it was screamo (in the most generic sense of the word - we're not talking Saetia here). I know screamo's a bit taboo to call anything since apparently it's really uncool, but it if that's what they want to call themselves – great. Before we get at the album, though, let's go back to their influences. Why is it that every band that sounds like this (of which there are more than a handful) feel the need to blatantly lie about their idols Every screamo band says, "Look, we're hardore, punk, metal, and rock & roll!" when they should really say, "Look, we're aggressive emo… and we wear girl’s pants."I actually took the time to go and look these guys up on the Internet, since apparently their singer is sixteen-years-old. And, you guessed it, they look like all of the other tragic emo kids. Long, shaggy black hair parted over one eye, tight black shirts, white belts, their sister’s jeans, and black running shoes. These kids perpetuate a walking, screaming, crying stereotype.
The album starts off with "Soliloquy," which I can only assume they thought was a neat word they just learned in their sophomore English class. It’s an annoying static buzz that starts off far too many albums nowadays. Its merit as a soliloquy is questionable, really, since there are only a few seconds of incoherent mumbling at the end of the track. Then the album kicks off and it’s dishearteningly everything I thought it would be. Sonny Moore, the aforementioned vocalist, alternates between the whiny psuedo-singing Dashboard Confessional made popular followed by the whiny scream Thursday made popular. If either of them sounded less prepubescent I’d probably dig it. I'm not completely against this genre, musically speaking. Bands like Silent Drive do it so well. However, Silent Drive these kids are not. The only track that really stood out to me was "I Liked You Better Before You Were Naked and on the Internet." It definitely showed a more Radiohead and Saves the Day influence than the rest of the album, which, to be honest, was a nice break.
I realize that every band isn't going to be innovative, and few bands really are. I can appreciate that. I listen to my fair share of generic hardcore. However, this album is completely contrived in my eyes. I could have sworn I've heard the exact same things in my ex-girlfriend’s car, over and over and over. They have the same drum segues as every other high school band and the same lead guitar picks laced over the same rythym guitar pieces as every other "screamo" band. But, this release isn't without merit. For what it’s trying to do, it's well paced. And the songs vary enough so that all of the emo kids can pick out which track reminds them of their freshman year the most.
Bottom Line: If you like music about girls breaking your heart and your inability to get over it, this album is your cup of tea. If you like Thursday, Saves the Day, Deashboard Confessional, Albert React, Finch, From Autumn to Ashes, etc., this album might also be for you. Otherwise, stay away.