Review Summary: I was surprised. Don't let the Victory Records label fool you. For fans of Silverstein, Atreyu, and Funeral For a Friend...1 of 1 thought this review was well writtenENDWELL
Sean Murphy - Vocals
Danny Pupplo - Guitar
Dan Puglisi - Guitar
Mike Kaabe - Drums/Vocals
Steve Muskopf - Bass
Mixed and Produced by Jay Baugardner
Recorded and Mixed at NRG recording studios
Label as produced: Victory Records
Original Release Date: October 31, 2006
Whine and Dine
Victory Records seems to leave a bad taste in a lot of peoples mouths and lets face it, they aren’t exactly the best promoters. There image of having carbon copy bands of there rival labels is well known and seems to be talked about widely amongst these forums. I was reading ToWhatEnd’s review and I found it to be a bit harsh and some parts in my mind conflicted with his opinions. I highly respect him and we do talk on a regular basis so I’m not going to say he’s wrong in any case but it’s weird enough that I was going to recommend this band to him because I thought he’d really enjoy it. I saw Endwell the other night and they put on a really good live show. Keep in mind that I never heard of this band before or what type of music they played but almost instantly it was easy to groove with there songs. They have a cliché set up much like Underoath (minus the keyboard) and From Autumn to Ashes. The metal core dude who’s screaming horse strained vocals and looks ready to be at your average Every Time I Die show and a dude who wears an Old Navy employee headset singing and playing drums.
I guess in this genre of music the guitar players and bassists don’t have tongues but I can’t tell you how popular this set up really is. You can almost know instantly what type of music is going to come from the band. I don’t agree with Victory records promotion of calling them “The muscle of Killswitch Engage, the riffs of Atreyu, the power of underOATH”. If anything this is just a ridiculous statement from a label that I already dislike greatly. There is barely anything that relates to any of those bands except for Atreyu and if anything I enjoy these guys more than I enjoy Atreyu. The combo of bands that would have been more appropiate would have been along the lines of Atreyu, Silverstein, and Funeral For a Friend.
There I just said it, and instead of listening to Victory Records crap ass promotion skills at least consider my opinion.
The album will start up and seconds will introduce you to the metal core side to the band. The vocals will be heavy and throaty with screams similar to Atreyu or The Sleeping. “The End” comes in with heavy down tuned guitars following all traditions to this genre and won’t make any ground breaking movements but will cause your head to bob to the blasting double bass from the drums. The drummer comes in with vocals at around 3 minutes into the song and really makes an unimpressive approach. I don’t know what he was thinking during this song because I like him in the up coming ones but he sounds like the vocals that would come out of protest the hero and it doesn’t exactly fit all that well. If anything it just sounds obnoxious and whiney. “A Taste of Everest” is a big step up for me listening to this album. It’s easily a song that I can always come back too by skipping the others. The song starts off hard again with screaming vocals and the guitars are more than ever chugging away. The song strongly reminds me of almost any silverstein song from “When Broken is Easily Fixed”. The drummer decides to actually sing in a voice that proves that he isn’t going to be whiney and ridiculous throughout the album (thank god). The chorus is sung and extremely catchy and I can always see myself tonguing along with it. The song even has a breakdown which is as cliché as anything but it actually climaxes the song well. The concept of doing soft;heavy;soft vocals is a process and it doesn’t feel right if one of the puzzle pieces is missing in the music. The song just ends on a beautiful note and leaves a positive feeling to my ears. “Single and Loving it” is the first single from “Homeland Insecurity” and is basically poppy and mainstream. It isn’t a bad song at all. It reminds me of Atreyu - The Crimson. The song starts off with pop-punk like tones through guitars and vocals since there is more singing then screaming in this song. It’s switched up the construction having soft melodic verses and chorus and having a heavy throaty pre-chorus and interlude. The breakdown fits well in this song with the vocals over it since the song was the softest on the album so far, and needed to be smacked upside the head. “Four Letter Words” follows in the same paths proving a striking resemblance to Atreyu. The guitar actually shows some non clichés and gets unpredictable during this song and is impressive. The licks during the verse are fast and thrice like to be honest. This is the first time I felt the guitar really went out of the box instead of staying inside its boundaries. The vocals in the chorus by the drummer are beautiful and melodic and exhibit catchiness. “Homeland Insecurity” starts off at a fast pop-punky pace but I slows itself up a bit during the verses. I really found myself in love with this song because of the build ups throughout the song. I remembered this song instantly from the live show because of the chanting breakdown at around the 3 minute mark. They got the crowd really into there music whether you knew them or not. “Goodbyes are always the coldest in December”, this song seems more than anything a filler track. The tapping guitar reminds me of Scary Kids Scaring Kids for some reason. There really isn’t any reason to listen through this unless you like the atmospheric ambience with guitar and drums. “Boys Meets World War III” steps the notch up again but isn’t as strong as the previous songs. It comes back with the same song construction but the chorus and melody isn’t really as good as it should be. The title is pretty ridiculous as well, but I just found myself bored to this song. The only fresh factor it has is the fact that it has a guitar solo which is mediocre but alright to change things up a bit.
“I’m Frozen and You’re Dead” is a definite Atreyu. Back when I liked Atreyu this song would of fit perfectly in one of there albums. The only thing is I like the melodic vocals and the screaming vocals by Endwell over Atreyu. Yeah, I said it. This song was definitely one of my favorites and if you remotely like Atreyu I don’t see how you can’t like this song since the screaming vocals mimics Atreyu almost exactly. The melody is better then Atreyu’s fan drummer with eyeliner x 100. “Drowning (One Last Breath)” starts off on a pop-punk toned guitar sound with strummed octaves. This song is definitely Silverstein all over it but isn’t really flashy. It’s definitely has pop-punk monotones on it and if you were a fan of old Saosin or Silverstein then you should definitely easily be able to get into a song like this by Endwell.
“Whine and Dine” is a really mixed up song in this collection because it’s basically a hardcore song straight up. Chanting vocals, and screaming with hardcore style of drumming. The song shows diversity and is a nice little detour from the usual stuff the album has produced. I can even hear the bass distinctly in this song which is more than I can say in the other ones. “Fever White” is a song that is almost entirely sung. It’s definitely the best song in the melodic soft category since the single was way too poppy and radio friendly. This song shows a lot of sincerity and I enjoy the catchiness in it without feeling like it was watered down. The harmony throughout the song is strong and the song is unlike any other, and I would definitely skip over the heavy songs to hear this one if I’m in the right mood. “Zombies Never Think Twice” go out on a heavy and strong note. This is the album conclusion and of course they wanted a song that would sum up most of the album and this is what this song does with the screaming and singing. It’s like they took all of the good things of the songs of the album and put it to one song. This song is an excellent exit album song because it ensures the listener if there only going to listen to this album full through, that they will want to listen again.
I went to a show and didn’t even know who these guys were and I ended up buying there CD as I left. I like the fact that buying there CD at the show was like something I needed to do after I saw them play live. They put on an excellent set and got the crowd into it and apparently have a fairly large fan base. There is a lot of metal-core influences in this band but then again there is a lot of pop-punk ones as well. You probably know what I mean as I relate a lot of the music to other bands and you’ll know what I mean. Overall I was impressed with Endwell - Homeland Insecurity not because they were anything ground breaking but because they do what a lot of other bands do… but they do it well.
+ Melodic Vocals
+ Screaming Vocals
+ Guitar Work
+ Well selection of songs
- An aging genre, and nothing new