Anullaby
Anullaby EP


1.5
very poor

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (109 Reviews)
May 17th, 2010 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Oh, Sleeper guitarist Shane Blay presents: “The Art of Squandering Talent and Writing Dreadful, Dreadful Songs.”

When Shane Blay initially announced he was going to release some solo material, it was pretty easy to get excited. To be honest, I’ve spent a lot of time defending Blay’s honor. As the guitarist of metalcore quintet Oh, Sleeper, I’ve always claimed that Blay’s shredtastic guitar and vocal work were the only saving grace of the generally average band. Even after the perplexingly atrocious Son of the Morning, I still played the devil’s advocate and stood behind Blay’s shredding and yelping. With this in mind, it wasn’t difficult for me to imagine Shane Blay’s solo material being awesome - finally free from the grasps of his lazy band! Yet not too soon after his initial announcement, Blay began to pepper his Twitter accounts with strange studio updates. At first, Blay alluded that he was taking some serious cues from star John Mayer (which would be fine if Blay showed any promise as a singer-songwriter to begin with) but he later contradictorily announced that he was also (or instead?) taking a “nu-metal” direction. Which, obviously, led to a few questions. Excuse me, Mr. Blay? Are we talking Fred-Durst-covering-‘Heartbreak Warfare’-kinda-schtuff or do you plan on rewriting Slipknot’s discography in contemporary blues-pop style?

Well, Blay has gone ahead and released his music in the form of a 3-track EP called Anullaby. Although it can’t be made certain if it’s “a-null-lullaby”, “anal-abby” or just a really bad band name that I’m thinking to death, I can definitely assure you that Anullaby is (thankfully) neither John Mayer or nu-metal. Yeah, Anullaby is definitely Blay’s worst work ever, mind you, but it is bad music in its own respective non-Mayer-y right! To categorize it most accurately, most of Anullaby sounds like all the melodic parts in Son of the Morning-era Oh, Sleeper. All the elements that Blay stole from Thrice on Son of the Morning make their reprise both vocally and instrumentally on Anullaby - and trust me, Blay’s plagiarized performance on Son of the Morning was lackluster last year and it’s even less interesting the second time around. To be fair, the only redeeming quality of Anullaby is Blay’s lone bluesy guitar solo, hidden in the superboring power-balled ‘Pandora’. The solo is Blay’s most impressive yet, as it uncovers an aspect of his guitarwork that hasn’t (and probably won’t ever) get the Oh, Sleeper spotlight. Unfortunately, the rest of Anullaby is perhaps one of the most underdeveloped, repetitive and lazy EPs I’ve heard put to record (by an obviously talented artist, nonetheless). Each and every song, I kid you not, has the exact same verse formula - programmed drums, dramatic piano arpeggios, distorted bass shots and Dustin Kensrue-vocals. It’s nigh impossible to differentiate the song’s verses from one another. The choruses manage to be worse yet. Opener ‘Morning Sickness’ tries to soar with its wordy and deliberately repetitive chorus hook (“You’re just another name in my book!”) but the adrenaline rush of the chorus comes too soon and abruptly in the song and totally kills the buzz on the already unfortunate song. ‘Pandora’ and ‘Damage’ work in a similar fashion (to equally unsuccessful results). While they omit the adrenaline, the songs pair anticlimactic ‘dramatic’ choruses with terribly executed song structure to create a duo of songs that are marginally worse than the opener.

So, yes, Anullaby is a bad EP with dreadful, dreadful songs. Suffice to say, I can no longer justify defending Shane Blay anymore - especially not after Anullaby made something painfully clear to me. The songwriting on Son of the Morning (the same songwriting that appears on Anullaby) probably sucks because of Blay himself - Blay has not been carrying the band on his capable shoulders, he’s been feeding them Thrice-isms and silly programming! And even if Son of the Morning was a group effort in collective suckage, Anullably is entirely Blay’s fault. The weakest link has been revealed. The lesson to be learned, Mr. Blay? Unless you’re Phil Collins or Casey Crescenzo, don’t bother with the solo material. You’ll be easier to defend if we can shift the blame to an entire band.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
May 17th 2010


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

in respect of sir blay, i'm sure he's a great person. our condolences on behalf of sputnik for his guitars getting stolen

i feel terrible!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2010


20857 Comments


Solid review Caleb. I think the I's & My's are justified here with the main point you are making. I will not look into, nor the band's work for that matter.

rasputin
May 17th 2010


14546 Comments


band name is awesome to say

robin
Emeritus
May 17th 2010


4249 Comments


i'm sensing some serious apathy here.

Waior
May 17th 2010


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

what apathetic way to be

where do you sense this languorrr

ThePalaceOfWisdom
May 17th 2010


1134 Comments


dude always was terrible.

Waior
May 17th 2010


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

appeasing the palace of wisdom finally

ThePalaceOfWisdom
May 17th 2010


1134 Comments


all I know is Shane Blay more like Shane Gay.

Roach
May 17th 2010


2148 Comments


hey caleb do you remember not so long ago when you were a big deal here and people would flock to your reviews?
what happened to those days 'ey?


Comatorium.
May 17th 2010


4125 Comments


Never really liked this guy or his band's music. Saw them (Oh, Sleeper) with Architects, BMTH, and Every Time I Die. They put on a decent show at best. The other three destroyed their show though.

Digging: Silverstein - This is How the Wind Shifts: Addendum

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2010


16142 Comments


i flocked to this review. never ever going to check this out but a good review nonetheless.

Digging: Alt-J - This Is All Yours

tiesthatbind
May 17th 2010


7374 Comments


Flock, flock. Good job.

Digging: xSPONGEXCOREx - How Tough Are Yah?

AggravatedYeti
May 17th 2010


7685 Comments


album sounds awful
review is full of quotations and wordy
just the way I like it :D

BigTuna
May 17th 2010


5158 Comments


sounds awesome

Digging: Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot

rasputin
May 17th 2010


14546 Comments


hey caleb do you remember not so long ago when you were a big deal here and people would flock to your reviews?
what happened to those days 'ey?

lol

more like cock to his reviews amirite

bloc
May 17th 2010


34872 Comments


How did I know this would be shit?

Roach
May 17th 2010


2148 Comments



more like cock to his reviews amirite



hahaa u r so rite

botb
May 17th 2010


9686 Comments


son of the morning wasn't bad though idk

Zip
May 17th 2010


5312 Comments


summary pwn

Emim
May 17th 2010


26625 Comments


So sad...



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