Just Surrender
We're in Like Sin


2.5
average

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
January 3rd, 2008 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They traded away what little originality they had for a shot to be on the radio.

I wonder sometimes what goes through a band’s collective mind when they make the conscious decision to shed all their original and credible traits and release a safe and unoriginal album meant solely to get them on the radio. Bands such as Fall Out Boy, The Starting Line, A Static Lullaby or Funeral For a Friend would be good examples of that practice. I don’t know if they begin to listen to their record label’s input or if they’re simply swayed by greed and the potential for fame and fortune, but whatever the reason, the end result is a boring release that is full of redundant choruses and a lack of even the slightest edge or hint of innovation. We can now add Just Surrender to the list of bands that this has happened to.

The album starts off well enough with “Body Language and Bad Habits” showcasing the new slick production the band got for this album, but it also retains the elements from their debut that made it good. The decent guitar harmonies, the dual vocalists that can sing and scream, the slightly edgy sound and a good (yet not overbearing and redundant) chorus are all present as well. After this song I had hopes that maybe this album would live up or surpass the potential shown on their debut, but the second track dashed those hopes.

The music on the second track, “So Close/So Alive”, sounds like an outtake from a band such as Tonic or any other cookie-cutter Rock band. The guitars have had their edge completely taken away and are now simply there as a background for the choruses. The vocals are built for radio, and they also include a guest female vocalist who somehow manages to make the song even more lifeless. If that wasn’t enough, the song is a duet between the guy and the girl lamenting their bad relationship, but it’s written so direct and naively as to just be cheesy (even for this type of music).

The following four tracks all follow the same basic formula as the second one. The music is basic, boring radio Rock with no edge or energy what-so-ever. The vocals are syrupy sweet and the verses seem more like an after thought during the band's attempt to jump back into the redundant choruses that could be swapped from one song to the other and no one would probably notice. The occasional screaming that was found on the debut and the slightly edgy guitar playing almost never makes an appearance anywhere on these tracks, and when they do it’s in a mixed-down and subdued manner.

The sixth track, “New Declaration”, is the final light in an album full of dull lifeless songs. It has some interesting guitar harmonies, edgy riffs, vocals that actually have some life in them, and it even ends with a pretty good guitar solo, but after that the quality falls back down to the low levels that they were at previously. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people that resists changes in bands and requires that they make the same album over and over again in order for me to like them, but I do, at least, ask that any changes made are for the better or at least feel like a progression (New Found Glory’s “Home” and Yellowcard’s “Lights and Sounds” are two good examples of bands that changed and did it right).

When a band strips itself of what little innovation and/or originality it had, and seems to make a musical bee-line for the Top 10 radio charts, then the results will most likely be bad (unless radio rock is your thing). The results from this album are exactly that; bad. There is no real distinction between this band and the many hundreds of others out there with the exact same sterile sound and big, redundant choruses. Literally, if you want this album and can’t find it, just buy whatever band is next to them in the same genre and you’ll pretty much have it.



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
January 4th 2008


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I really liked their debut and was looking forward to this... too bad it turned out to be such a bummer.

Edit: I didn't pick the genre for these guys, and don't think either of their albums fit into it very well. The first one does more then this one, though. This one should be in whatever genre bands such as Goo Goo Dolls and Tonic are in.

Edit 2: Someone should take a screen shot... there's no Metal reviews on the front page of Sputnik!!!This Message Edited On 01.03.08

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

cometuesday
January 4th 2008


959 Comments


OMG and there's a jazz fusion and a jam rock review up too! I got it saved.
To be relevent, I've never even heard of these guys but judging by the sound of your review I probably won't make a point to look them up.

Willie
Moderator
January 4th 2008


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Their first album is actually pretty good, and something I still listen to from time to time. It's not too original, but it's good for what it is. I wouldn't spend too much time trying to find these guys, but maybe their Myspace page has a few older songs on it.

DWittisarockstar
January 4th 2008


1501 Comments


Your Life and Mine is a dreadful song.

I watched some of their YouTube videos to see if I was interested, and I'm not. Good review.

kalkal50
January 7th 2008


2386 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review, I kind of like "Your Life and Mine", but the rest sucks.

Willie
Moderator
January 10th 2008


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The whole thing was kind of a let down... it's a shame.
At least The Panic Division pulled through with a great sophmore release.

ABalefulAura
May 23rd 2008


22 Comments


I really like Your Life and Mine even though a bunch of people are saying it's the worst. The album overall is indeed garbage though.



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