The Felix Culpa
Sever Your Roots


2.0
poor

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
November 22nd, 2010 | 77 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: not quite brand new

Even the best of formulas can only be stretched so far, as proven by The Felix Culpa. The fervor surrounding the mid-2000’s explosion of a certain brand of post-hardcore, a style that infused indie and melodramatics into the equation, just begged that this manner of music would be strained beyond its creative limits down the road. Think: mewithoutYou, Brand New, As Cities Burn... a tried-and-true formula had been established. By the time 2010 rolls around, more than enough bands have already been caught emulating the drawn-out, lyrically-based, emotion-ridden style of music that had been deemed as safe ground -- edgier than your mainstream rock, but not quite breaching the boarders of more traditional post-hardcore styles. Here we are, down the road; and alas, the formula has been stretched too thin. In every respect, The Felix Culpa is about as ordinary as possible. If there ever was a record that should always be relegated to the back of your CD library because of its sheer unimportance, it’s Sever Your Roots. Not to claim that the debut album is without merit, because the talent of The Felix Culpa shines through their purposelessness at times. Regrettably though, and with an absolutely atrocious album cover in tow, Sever Your Roots is an important lesson in redundancy.

By this point, most readers are undoubtedly shaking their heads as Sever Your Roots has, expectedly, garnered almost unanimously positive reviews. It’s a shame, but The Felix Culpa were doomed from the start. Sever Your Roots doesn’t come close to escaping the towering shadow that Brand New, mewithoutYou, As Cities Burn, and the like have collectively constructed over them. For every positive attribute that the band portrays, other bands have done so, and done so more outstandingly. Expansive, slowly-building riffs that attempt to erupt in one, pinpointed moment of fury? Brand New coined that one in 2006. Catchy post-hardcore-lite riffs and choruses? A City Safe From Sea nearly perfected that one last year. Vaguely passionate lyrics? As Cities Burn caught that one in 2007 while it was hot. I’ve heard that attempt at dynamism in “An Instrument” before, and The Felix Culpa’s version can’t compete with its predecessors, let alone topple them. It may irk some that comparisons to similar bands are the most prominent descriptor for Sever Your Roots, but that’s just it-- The Felix Culpa craft a product so derivative that their album doesn’t demand any better. Comparisons to too-like albums are the most apt way to describe Sever Your Roots, and also telling of the album’s glaring weakness. Even when they do hit the spot with an especially poignant moment where the murky aesthetic is effective like “Mutiny” and “New Home Life,” there’s still far too many moments of copycat clutter on Sever Your Roots. A runtime of 1:07 is long for albums with interesting material to share, let alone an album that seems content with simply spitting out the same restructured, commonplace shit.

A band can’t get away with simply emulating a standard formula and expecting success. Something creative or unique has to be added to the equation, and The Felix Culpa forget this element, tacking 20 minutes of tedium onto their product instead. Unacceptable. Sever Your Roots have stretched the formula that was once brand new too thin, proving there wasn’t quite enough substance in the blueprint to buttress yet another generic look-alike. Opinions have been running quite high this year on The Felix Culpa, but every indication on Sever Your Roots points towards the album having found a very concrete niche -- in the back of your CD library behind more worthy ancestors.



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user ratings (117)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
James OBrien (4.5)
The shadow figure on the cover serves as the perfect figurehead for this dark and emotional parting ...

fromtheinside (4)
here's an album you'll wish you had heard eight months ago....


Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
November 22nd 2010


20970 Comments


neg city

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

cvlts
November 22nd 2010


8985 Comments


fti would be pissed.

Hep Kat
November 22nd 2010


15399 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i think this is boring as fuck

Digging: Burning Kitchen - Many Wonder About the Meaning of Life

SeaAnemone
November 22nd 2010


20970 Comments


an hour and 7 minutes of this is too much... I mean I could see myself liking this if it was like 20 minutes long but c'mon

BigTuna
November 22nd 2010


5161 Comments


ilu

Never checked this out because I didn't get the time. Good idea? Yes, yes I think so.

Digging: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar

Static
November 22nd 2010


2656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

neg

Bitchfork
November 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


Where's the review for Paracletus?

SeaAnemone
November 22nd 2010


20970 Comments


stop Bitchforking please I'll get around to it eventually

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2010


28829 Comments


u cold as ice, bro

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 22nd 2010


10666 Comments


Thank God.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry

GodspeedEmperor
November 22nd 2010


115 Comments


nice review

this album fucking sucks

SeaAnemone
November 22nd 2010


20970 Comments


oh I see, NOW all the haters come out. ok.

cvlts
November 22nd 2010


8985 Comments


exactly what i was jus thinking.

Hep Kat
November 22nd 2010


15399 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

cant believe someone negged this

SeaAnemone
November 22nd 2010


20970 Comments


it's really weird when my reviews don't get a neg, honestly. oh hwell.

Bitchfork
November 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


this neggage is worse than the troll neggage for hp7

Bitchfork
November 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


the only problem I can see people having with Eric's reviews are that sometimes he gets carried away with the metaphors and it sounds really goofy.

Hep Kat
November 23rd 2010


15399 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

all the shit wrapped in [i] [/ i] other than the album title is irritating


otherwise i think this is good

Winsomniac
November 23rd 2010


8014 Comments


I came pretty close to negging this out of spite.


However, it was well written. The rating is just horribly off.

Digging: Submotion Orchestra - Alium

Spec
November 23rd 2010


27298 Comments


Good review, haven't checked this out and now probably won't bother.



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