01. Nightmares Win 6-0
02. Love to Hate, Hate to me
04. Lip Gloss and Letdown
05. A Sip of Wine Chased with Cyanide
06. We go to Eleven
07. The Shooting Star that Destroyed us
08. A Song for a Broken Heart
09. Annunciate while you Masticate
10. Charred Fields of Snow
2003 Ferret Music
by Graham Landers
There's a new revolution going on in the music industry today. Corporations are going after the closest thing to Poison the Well or Hatebreed that they can get their preying hands on. With Sworn Enemy signing to an imprint of Elektra, Thrice and Thursday signing to majors, this has opened the door for many new bands to start seeking higher ground to rest their talents, rather than the conventional indy stepping-stone label.
Ferret Music has been releasing the best records that metalcore has to offer for years now. The recent success of FATA, reaching astronomical sales of 50K+, and Killswitch Engage signing to Roadrunner, have spiraled this label into a league of their own.
A Static Lullaby (ASL) is Ferret's first offering for 2003 and boy is it a surprise. These California natives have developed a sound that falls somewhere between Glassjaw and Finch. I would like to take a moment to express my extreme disliking for Glassjaw and the style of music this group has chosen. Vocally more than anything else, Glassjaw are a tough act to stomach and I have to imagine that they cater more to the nu-metal crowd, than the traditional hardcore fan (despite the band's Long Island hardcore roots). So, with that said, let me elaborate a bit on ASL and their debut album "...And Don't Forget to Breathe.'
If I had to make a choice, I would choose Finch over these guys any day of the week, but that's just me. Finch sore with ever note while ASL tends to bask in their own glory, not sure whether to go straight for the kill, or to wait and risk getting taken under the swarm. This would have made a significant impact say 3-5 years ago when this genre was relatively unexplored. Nowadays, this record just falls into the ever growing pool of mediocrity. They get you going and retreat to their corner, leaving you blue balls n' all. Yes, I feel cheated more than treated with every listen to this record because it could have been so much more than what it is. I do feel that any fan of Glassjaw will instantly fall in love with ASL, although they lack the eclectic elements that (Glassjaw) seems to capitalize on with their dramatic vocal delivery. Their nurock/core style is still catchy enough that it should eventually gain substantial popularity, but not with the traditional hardcore crowd.
I somewhat enjoyed "And Don't Forget to Breathe" the first few times I went through the record. Now, I find myself only listening to the first five of its tracks, removing the CD and not listening again for days on end. I attribute this to the lack of differentiation on each song.The whole record could easily have been an EP, making this a much more enjoyable listening experience. But, they decided to add another five tracks and literally make this feel like one big continuous song. Don't get me wrong, all the songs are at least ok and would probably work by themselves, but as part of a whole, they don't work for me. Perhaps an acoustic interlude or Jimmy Eat World special (vocals and keyboards only) would help add a bit more listenability to this record, or at least save you from the repetitiveness At any rate, if you enjoy your hardcore with a rock-edge along with both clean sung and screamed vocals, you should make an effort to at least give these guys a shot.
Bottom Line: I like what A Static Lullaby set out to do, but "And Don't Forget to Breathe" just isn't anything special to be completely honest. The songs for the most part are bearable, just not in one sitting. I would venture to see ASL's live show and then go from there. I was mildly entertained with their set at last year's Hellfest. But, I would wait until future releases before investing any money or time with A Static Lullaby.