At first, I thought this album began like a punk rock explosion ala The Clash or Rancid. It made me quite curious and really kind of caught me off guard, but I was into it and wanted to see what else it possibly had to offer me.
As the first few songs take us on a journey, it is one of indie rock that reminds me mostly of Pinback. The song “Hungover Tehran” happens to have this incredibly catchy guitar riff that if isn’t in a car commercial already could be one day. It has that sound and, no, that is not a compliment as it is an annoyance.
The vocals can be screamed somewhere between AWOLNATION and I Am the Avalanche, but then they begin to crack. For some reason, within the first few songs, this sounded like somewhat of a mature, sort of polished band to me, if you will. If the members hadn’t been in other bands before, they at least sounded like they’d been playing together for a while and this wasn’t their first album together.
As the songs progressed though, the music did not. I began to hear come out what can only be described as amateur hour. It was a less than good version of I Kill Giants and, really, why listen to a bad version of a great band that is still putting out music.
In “Solid Gold”, we get the line “I have lots and lots of guns, but what’s the point and where’s the fun if I am alone and no one is home”, which just leaves me completely befuddled. I wish I was at a loss for words when it came to this line, but I mean, did this band actually think that having a lot of guns meant you went out partying and people always came over and visited you and all that? Are they not aware of that deranged psycho-fuck who shot up a movie theater during “The Dark Knight Rises”? Because I’m pretty sure he probably lived alone and didn’t have anyone home in more ways than one. And, yes, I’m not just blaming whoever wrote these lyrics but the entire band for letting them be recorded and no one had the good sense to explain to this kid who wrote them down why they were a poor choice (I’m looking at you, drummer. Everyone wants to sing or play guitar, but drummers are probably the hardest member of a band to replace. You should have said something!!)
When I hit the line later on in the album “I’ve got your friends and you’ll never see them alive again” I can’t help but feel like… Well, I don’t really feel like anything. You might have my so-called friends, but which ones do you have and I’ll let you know whether or not this so-called threat bothers me.
Whether or not this band is a bunch of kids in high school is not the point so much as the fact that this band sounds like a bunch of kids in high school. Musically, they’re stealing style after style, while lyrically they really don’t seem to have anything intelligent to say (In which case, why not just be instrumental?) They need to do some growing up.
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