Sunday, December 25, 2005

Dear Whoever - Sound the Trumpet CD Review

When I was younger I used to play Super Street Fighter II all the time. Anyone who wanted to take me on, I’d challenge them to an afternoon of getting smacked down, because I had a strategy that I thought was unbeatable. As Chung-Li or E. Honda I could dominate just about anyone using E. Honda’s hundred hand slap or Chung-Li’s lightning kick. Whenever someone got close to me, I'd do those moves over and over. It was easy to do (all I had to do was jam on the punch or kick buttons), and it would work over and over again. That is, until whoever I was playing against figured me out. I didn't have any other power moves or strategies to use. It was at this point that I was screwed since I never planned ahead. I was content to keep doing the same thing over and over.

Much like my Street Fighter II battling tactics, rock and metal bands are simply all too content to keep hundred hand slapping with rehashed, retread, and regurgitated sing/scream emo crap. Sure, Hawthorne Heights and Silverstein and The Goodwill and Senses Fail have all sold very well, but that doesn’t mean that every band that sounds like them will do equally as well. No, this genre has reached the point of diminishing returns where it might not even be possible for a label to break even when signing a new “screamo” band to their roster.

But here we are yet again with Broken Line Records throwing out a blatant, albeit slightly heavier and rougher, copy of Hawthorne Heights at us. I’m sorry, but your thousandth screamo lightning kick is no match for the long distance fireball throwing techniques of kung-fu master Ryu, which I’ve finally learned in order to counter your boring, cheap, and overused tactics. You can't keep winning without evolving your approach.

What’s unfortunate is Dear Whoever probably don’t even realize that they’re nothing more than a copy of a copy of a copy... of a copy. Through all the copycatting that has permeated this genre, there is rarely a band or release that holds any real emotion, integrity, or aggression—it’s all become so fake, cliched, and fashion-centric.

Dear Whoever’s Sound the Trumpet is yet another release in a long line of releases that will have its 5 minutes in the sun before fading away into the cold, empty darkness of musical obscurity. How much do you want to bet that after their tour to support this effort we won’t hear much from Dear Whoever ever again? I’d have to say it’s a pretty safe bet.

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