Review Summary: "Lucy Gray" is a fine first LP for these semi-vets new act.
Envy on the Coast are riding the latest trend of pop-punk/indie/post-hardcore bands that seem to continually rain down upon “the scene”. Embracing their roots, they don’t really experiment outside the bounds of this already heavily explored territory. While they don’t do anything new or exciting, they are a very tight unit who writes decent songs, even if that may decline as Lucy Gray
Singer Ryan Hunter is the most effective member of the group, having a higher pitched but not screeching voice, that far from being weak is actually well developed and a handy strength. He sings with a good deal of passion but knows exactly when to restrain himself, never getting too ahead of himself or sacrificing musicality for showmanship. He is comparable to Daryl Palumbo, except minus all the superfluous vocal acrobatics, combined with Anthony Green. Obviously every scene kids dream!
The band takes more than a few tricks out of the book At the Drive-In wrote for indie/post-hardcore bands, with two guitarists playing off each other often, with the drums and bass serving as solid backbones with enough chances to contribute a nice fill. The lead guitar lines are often great, resembling Circa Survive’s more than anything. They don’t truly experiment, but there is hardly a hiccup on the entire album, and they are never explicitly boring when the whole band is in.
Where the album really struggles is the songwriting department. There is a clear and steady drop-off in song depth and quality throughout the album. “Sugar Skulls” through “The Gift of Paralysis” are excellent poppy post-hardcore songs, and are varied enough to keep the listener interested. Going through the rest of the album though, you’d be hardpressed to find more standout songs. “Vultures” is good, and “The Breathing…” is interesting to a degree, but the songs steadily get less gripping and enjoyable, and slip into genre fare for fans.
is a mostly unremarkable record from a band with a modicum of talent. Anyone into the music scene that FUSE seems to strongly promote will likely eat this album up, and it ha its charms. It never gets exactly bad, and there is a good bit more here to like rather than dislike, but Envy on the Coast probably put 15 minutes too much in this nearly 50 minute disc. A solid debut LP for a band that hopefully embraces different ideas in the future.