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No record label is listed on the CD, so I'm assuming this was independently released, which is something I respect, however why not just make up a name, and consider this disc 001 of a label you've just started? Also, there is no bar code on the package, which means most distributors won't handle this disc, which is a curious decision to make. This seems like a demo for another label to pick up the album, but why waste your time, and why pass this off as an album? I like the aesthetics of the artwork on the cover, orange clearly being the theme, but the "pose" of the band photo is a little over the top. Who are they trying to impress? Do they really think that looking "distant" looks cool?
Another complaint, the length of the CD… 56 minutes. In western music, especially rock/pop, especially for a reviewer, you shouldn't over-estimate people's attention spans. I feel it'd be way better to under-estimate, leaving the listener wanting more. Also, chances are if it were trimmed down it'd be a stronger, tighter release. I am of the school of thought that albums should have a feel and theme OTHER than compiling the last 15 songs you just wrote in your bedroom.
Yet ANOTHER complaint (what about the music?!) is that the press package was WAY too big. Any more than a few pages is excessive, and hasn't anyone heard of writing on the backs of pages? Get over yourselves. Sure, we want to learn about your band, but we don't want to be given opinions. After all, the point of all this is the music…
As I listened to the record, I was at first picking up on a subtle David Bowie influence, which I thought was interesting. As the disc went on, I heard some other influences which I thought were not so interesting. There is a strong similarity to "Bends" era Radiohead, and at points I also heard Bono and Jeff Buckley in the vocals. I was pretty unimpressed and un-engaged. It sounds like alterna-pop with a definitely modern feel to the production and choice of sounds (synthesizers and other electronic elements). Which in this case is a bad thing. It feels a bit bland, watered down, and, though I hate using this term (because who am I to say?), uninspired (but it just flows out of my mouth so easily!). Maybe what I really mean is that it doesn't inspire me. I just don't feel the passion, or emotional, real, gifted connection to the music.
I guess it is good for what it is… rhythmically tight, solid vocal performances, good/clear engineering and production, good "lush" feel, it's just a matter of whether or not "what it is" is interesting or not. Is this "just another band" is a question that comes to mind… The "strings" on this record are often over the top. And yes, I know it's easy and fun to play octaves on your guitar, but does everyone have to? If you think Radiohead started to go wrong after OK Computer (you're a moron), and you're interested in a sub-par substitute, then look no further. Now I don't want to be too negative. This music is not offensive, amateurish, annoying, poorly played, or necessarily bad by any means. It just doesn't move, or speak to, me. Part of me doesn't see the point of bands who aren't trying something new. Actually, now that I'm looking at the aesthetics of the back cover, with its Mondrian like shapes and squares, and poor choice of colors, it looks kind of annoying. I'll give the singer one thing, the vocals are definitely BIG, but maybe a little too big. I bet he thinks he's the shit. I bet he's in the front of all the band photos. I bet their shows are filled with girls, some of which think they're the main squeezes of the band members. Another thing, they definitely do have the quality that makes bands BIG. But I don't know if I mean that as a compliment or not. Track 5 they turned on the Radiohead-ness full blast, at Track 8 I was bored, track 11 like the others just went on too long.
Matt Peterson is a Contributing Writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.