Review Summary: Cheaters never prosper
I bet you know a number of bands or artists that get their fair share of success by piggy-backing on the success of other more well-known artists or bands, right? I’m not just talking about copying a style of music, though, or even choosing the same producer of Nirvana
to produce your new album – not mentioning any names, Nevershoutnever
. But, like, those bands or artists that come out of nowhere by re-recording a prior hit single of another artist or band and then re-release it as his, her, or their own – do you know what I’m talking about? Think of Framing Hanley
’s cover of Lil Wayne
’s “Lollipop” or, gasp, Jack Ingram
’s cover of Hinder
’s “Lips of An Angel”. Seems a bit cheap if you ask me, but, I mean, if the band or artist has some talent and then goes on to do great things for his, her, or themselves and listeners in the future, then great, I guess. Good for them. A boost toward the big times isn’t necessarily a bad thing, right?
But if the band or artist happen to be like Minnesota’s Quietdrive, well, then that’s where I feel the need to call foul play. Cheating. Acknowledged
plagiarism, basically. Because back in 2007 when a certain Cyndi Lauper
cover by the name of "Time After Time" started making rifts on the airwaves, heads were turning this band’s way, undeservingly in retrospect: who were these guys? Where are they from? Why is the name Quietdrive so
generic-sounding? Yes, the stage was set for Quietdrive to go places, to take their debut When All That’s Left Is You
to the Billboards with another hit single or two. The world ‘s interest was peaked, and the world was waiting.
And the world waited. And the world waited again through the Quietdrive’s mundane and tired 2008 follow-up, Deliverance
. And the world will continue to wait through the cycle of Quietdrive’s third studio release, this year’s self-titled album.
Or maybe the world will give up this go around on Quietdrive – or has already given up, actually. Can you honestly tell me that you knew that Quietdrive
was coming out this year? I can’t. I had to dig through December’s tired release schedule to find these guys. Fu
ck the life of a contributor: Oh wow! I didn’t know these guys were still together
, was my first thought on seeing Quietdrive
down for December 14th. A listen to the band’s lead single for this release, “Way Out”, and I could see why I hadn't heard about the album: Quietdrive have gotten nowhere
in the three years that I’ve known about them. This shi
t is weak. Skimpy, generic pop-rock with the same audience in mind, each song, a life-less extension of most of our own love lives around here (I kid). Sure, some bands can do stuff like this the right way – or at least did it the right way back in the day: I’m talking about my bros blink-182
ck the haters), and even Almost Here
-era The Academy Is
– you know, the guys who did it first, relatively, with melodies from the good ol’ days still ringing in my ears. The kind of dribble Quietdrive and lead singer Kevin Trunkenmiller create is, well, not like that at all: the voice grates, the instrumentals just exist there in the music, rather than play or breathe
, and the hooks couldn’t even catch a cold.
You don’t go to most pop-rock and the like for lyrics, I know, but come on: “I’m sorry I forgot your birthday / I’m sorry ‘cause I was shi
t-faced / I thought it was on a Wednesday / A Monday or a Tuesday,” sings Trunkenmiller on the chorus of “Birthday”. The common argument of Oh hey, you’re just nitpicking a certain song!
can be used by you here for my crappy reviewing, but the sad thing is that Quietdrive never deviate from that set level of suck-age for their new album; which is unfortunate, because especially for the song in question, the hook is rather strong, sort of. It’s just you can’t enjoy it all that much when you’re forced to hear or, heaven forbid, sing along to lines like that, you know? “I drink a lot / I drink a lot / That’s because I need to drink a lot to have the guts to say / you can’t take a good man with you / No, you can’t bring a good man down” is another gold treasure of wisdom from Trunkenmiller on “It Says A lot”. Here, again, the hook is okay, but the lyrics just ruin it. Like, you can tell that the band have it in them to write a hit, but they just haven't yet. Maybe it wouldn't be up to the likes of “Time After Time”, I guess, but that’s not really all that surprising. After all, that’s not even Quietdrive's song anyway.
Closer “Young” points out and dramatizes in song form what is happening to the potential of Quietdrive – the stuff they were showing three years ago with When All That’s Left Is You
, but have yet to use. You know, the song's got the epic
, closing undertones to it: the strings, the sense of foreboding. But then Trunkenmiller comes in with accompanying piano and his voice, and it's just like “Young” goes to hell. The chorus hook is weak; the rest of Quietdrive go into an autopilot-like state; and the album is ended on just as bad of a note that the pseudo-electronic and piss-poor lyrics of “American Jeans” started it out on. It leaves me with a feeling that tells me that I’m really not all that sure about these guys. Like, Quietdrive’s potential is still
there, but like on Deliverance
before it, it remains untapped. This band has a hard road ahead of it, clearly. Even if they do happen to pull themselves together, writing their own
hit singles the next time around, the world won’t care about them. Sadly, they probably don’t even care about Quietdrive now anyway. I know I don't anymore.