Review Summary: Post-Hardcore needed this like I need a hole in my head
The post-hardcore scene has become packed with hundreds of bands that have the same exact formula as the other. Heavy riffs followed by catchy choruses and then a brutal breakdown. While there are bands that break this formula, Ten After Two is definitely not one of them. On Ten After Two’s Rise Records debut EP If You Don’t First, there are a few catchy songs; however, none of it is anything that has not been done before.
If You Don’t First is ridden with the most obvious of all post-hardcore clichés throughout. This is most evident in the song Silent Creek. The first half of the song is basically a two minute long breakdown. The remainder of the song attempts to show off vocalist Josh Doty’s singing ability, but it really just shows how overproduced the entire band is. While the opening track Behind Locked Doors is a very fun and catchy track, the awful lyrics take away everything that made this track good. Lines like “I’m getting sick, so sick, and it bores me,” are all throughout the song and the album. Also, screamer Sean Wall’s voice can be very grating and very annoying after a while, which is most eminent on the track they All Fall Down.
However, not everything on this album is bad. The song Home Edition is catchy and fun without being overly cliché or being a 4 minute breakdown. Patrick Hennion shows off his great guitar skills, which is done rarely throughout the album, with a great riff which shows a hint of technicality. Also, screamer Wall does not ruin the track with his screams and actually helps the track rather than hurt it. This track shows that the band has some potential; unfortunately, not more than any other band out there.
Ten After Two need to find a way to establish themselves as an individual band rather than just another post-hardcore band. If You Don’t First falls flat as being boring, unoriginal, and with absolutely no ambition.