Album – This Road Before – God or Julie

Posted by admin on February 26th, 2008

It seems that I’ve been in a bit of a funk with regard to music that is on the rockier side of pop. It’s not that I’m adverse to harder rock, it just seems that there hasn’t been much that’s really appealed to my musical tastes. I have to admit, when I originally got this album in, I knew in an instant that my two teenage daughters would love it. There’s a strong, almost emo like sound to the album, which puts the band in good company, with the likes of Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco and the previously reviewed The Higher. The term emo has been one that is often misused, indeed I’m probably going to have a fair few people telling me this is not emo, but for me, it’s the easiest way to define the bands sound.

Opening with “Nothing Further From the Truth”, I can see no reason why this should not sit a top the charts, with out fear of feeling out of place. The bands sound is tight, with vocals you can actually easily digest.Call me an old fogey, but there’s is a lot to be said, for being able to actually understand what bands are singing about. “Waste Your Tears” has a very interesting sound. I can hear memories of the 80’s and 90’s but can’t quite put names to the memories. It’s funny, when “Bury Me” came on, I almost wanted to start singing “I am an anti Christ, I am an anarchist…” the opening line to the classic Sex Pistols track, Anarchy in the UK. Even though the track soon changes direction, I love how even modern day music, is able to invoke such powerful memories, be they presumably unintentional.

Some tracks evoke great memories, others do something akin to the opposite. “Being Human” really felt like a chunk of cheese, in amongst an otherwise great collection. I understand that for such an upbeat and energetic album, a slice of something a little easier on the ear is needed, but this really felt out of place. This is really highlighted, when the following track “Let it Bleed Again” starts, and you can really see the chalk and cheese effect. “Fallen Angel” is an amazing track, with an absolutely fantastic intro, with guitar accompaniment that hangs just below the horizon, it reminds me a lot of the Smiths, surely one of the greatest indie bands of the 80’s.

“This Road Before” really stands out, as the vocals are really clear, succinct and prominent. It really stands out as one of the strongest tracks on the album, even though it’s not one of the more explosive tracks. “White” is the last track on the “album” and again that hint of cheese returns, like an extreme case of Extreme. The final three tracks are in fact extras, with two bonus tracks and one demo. “Oxygen” really manages to hit all the right notes, with a great intro, then morphing into a sound, that reminds me a lot of Weezer. The final two tracks, “Fallen Soldier” and “I’m So Happy I could Die” are OK in themselves, but really do feel like they are thrown in for good measure, rather than being there by design.

Conclusion : A album that’s been sorely need to clear my ears of a few cobwebs. A great sound, which I’d love to see develop with even more edge.

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