Monday, March 21, 2005

Over It - Silverstrand CD Review

Pop punk, in the minds of many music critics, is one of the throwaway genres—a genre filled with easily digestible, and even more easily forgotten, bands. The majority of the time, this actually is probably the best way to classify the genre. Simply look at some of the best sellers in the genre over the last few years—Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, New Found Glory, and Bowling for Soup to name a few—and you’ll immediately notice that there is very little substance to be found in the trendsetters of this genre. Occasionally, however, you might find a band or release that transcends the default sucktitude and trappings of this genre, but it doesn’t happen very often. Over It try extremely hard to rise above the tripe that passes as music in the pop punk genre, but unfortunately they only half succeed in their efforts.

In comparison to the aforementioned bands, Over It are musical gods, but that’s not saying much, now is it? Instead of creating saccharine sweet, tooth decaying crap, Over It have actually managed to pull off a decently mature pop punk sound. It should be noted, though, that when I say mature, I’m only talking within the confines of the pop punk musical subdivision. If we were comparing Over It to some of the non-throwaway genres out there, they’d be taking a beating that not even the most masochistic among us would want to watch, so for their sake let’s only examine this cd in the isolation of the pop punk genre.

There are definitely a decent share of weak moments to be found on this release, a few examples being the hopelessly lame intro song, the unnecessary and stupid as all hell background keys on “Chef Yan,” and the sometimes cheesy lyrics (complete with “Oooohhhs” to fill some of the spaces in the songs). Yes, I do know that Over It’s lyrics are actually much more mature than what comes from the majority of their peers, but it’s still a little hard to take anything the band has to say too seriously. Beyond these weaknesses, however, you will find some gargantuan hooks that will reel you in with every listen and a good share of vocals so melodic and sing-a-long-ish that you’ll be humming right along in no time, if not outright singing along with them. The cynic in response might ask, “So what? Even the crappy pop punk bands have big hooks and melodic vocals.”

The difference, and this is the difference that keeps Over It out of the pop punk cesspool, so it’s important, is that the hooks and vocals on Silverstrand are not simply manufactured, slapped together junk—the content of this disc actually feels like it was put together by a band that knows how to write a song. It might not be noticeable upon first listen, but Over It can write catchy songs all on their own, unlike some other similar bands, and they can do it with minimal amounts of cliché usage. This is what separates them from the rest of the garbage being put out by their peers.

Silverstrand is not a perfect cd, though—not by a long shot. It’s also not a perfect pop punk cd, but right now it’s probably the best you’re going to find coming out of this genre. So if you crave something poppy, something punky, and not full of suck, then this release is definitely the way to go.

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