This work lacked a lot of creative drive or engaging direction, and it exemplifies the problem with writing to try and carve out a small personal niche above all else. It’s as if this band had already set their own creative limits based on talent or comfortableness, and only focused on expounding a personal style based on those limits in order to be recognizable. Overall, that’s a big problem, as it puts business and marketing concerns over the musical substance itself. Now, this creation here wasn’t all that bad and had a consistent, semi-charming quality to it in its peculiar thin sound. Each song seemed to revolve around a single melodic idea put in either the bass or guitar, which served as the main identifiable musical feature. There wasn’t any strong development and the songs would have done well to grow out of them eventually, but the small ideas themselves were fine and had some rhythmic, groovy quality to them. Their pitch collection was never too adventurous or well formed, though, which tainted the overall quirky atmosphere into sounding a little too dull and repetitive. The plethora of non-chord tones simply did not serve enough of a purpose. It was the constant pedal tone harmony that really gave away the feeling of being limited and unable to excite, evident in songs like “Suddenly Gone” and “Discover”. It unveiled the curtain on the band’s attempt to make something out of very little. Perhaps this is all they know how to play on their respective instruments, or they somehow fell in love with un-ironically producing amateur, uninvolved song structures. These harmonies really stayed in one place on one chord for a full song, never going too far from the center note. That’s been done with great care and imagination in the past, for instance a loud jam song with a very strong melodic hook, or a drawn out ambient piece with very manipulative timbral techniques. This album did not have the energy, the form, or the technical strength for motionless harmonies to thrive in. With the lack of truly compelling melodic or harmonic ideas, the band noticeably put all their cards on creating a sound that would stand out and give a good home to their songwriting skills. While the timbre did succeed at being unique, it didn’t quite succeed at giving life to emotion or being worthwhile to visit again. The sound was very light with minimal textures, being very bass heavy and only consisting of a beat and a couple of melodic layers. With that, countermelodies were very exposed and played a huge role, although only the song “Asking for a Friend” had a countermelody engaging enough to warrant the exposure. Other supporting timbres, most importantly the voices, were too spread out with no grasping purpose other then finding uniqueness. That shouldn’t be the highest priority. The result was actually rather interesting at times, being a tad enjoyable in its quirkiness. I simply didn’t find the band’s attempt at uniqueness to outweigh their inability to write captivating music. Nothing on this album is too disdainful; it just doesn’t provide a lot of strength amidst trying to have a personality.

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