Monday, July 24, 2006

Kids in the Way - Apparitions of Melody CD Review

No, I’m not really behind on reviewing this CD, but instead Flicker Records has decided to re-release Apparitions of Melody (which was previously released last year) in a new form with a re-ordered track listing and a couple of new songs. Oh, and a DVD with music videos and a small documentary with the band from the studio. I don’t know if these few small extras make this worth a purchase if you already own the original pressing, but for those of you who are new to the band, you could definitely do worse than picking up this release.

Playing a brand of nu-screamo blended with nu-emo, Kids in the Way have many shades of the more melodic moments of bands such as Alexisonfire and Dead Poetic, with their take on the genre being lighter than the former and more rock oriented than the latter. So is there really a need for another release, especially a re-release, in this already cramped genre? Truthfully, no, there isn’t much space at all. Ignoring the truth of the situation, however, you’ll find this to be a very competent and solid take on the worn hard rock with occasional scream genre.

Even though we have a very competent release, that doesn’t change the fact there are some really, really clunky songs on here. “This Could be the Song that will Change Your Heart” is way too heavy on the schmaltz and finds the band making a clichéd and painful ballad attempt. Then there’s “Breaking the Legs of Sheep” in which you find out what a horrible combination brit-rock influences, modern emo, and fifth grade poetry class can be.

It’s rough seeing a band turn out about 10 solid tracks and then have a couple which are totally out of place, as those few tracks ruin the flow and sound of an overall solid release. The other track that doesn’t quite fit, but isn’t all that terrible really, is the cover of Tears for Fears’ “Head Over Heels”. It’s competently done, but doesn’t capture enough of the feeling of the original or show off anything unique to the band making the cover.

This CD resoundingly comes through the reviewing ringer with a strong “blah” feeling, being not good enough to stand out, not bad enough to get noticed, and not unique enough to capture your ears’ attention. In some cases, this is almost worse than being bad. At least when a release is bad, it gets noticed instead of fading into the mass of other bands that are just plain “ok”.

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