Review Summary: Regardless of the many shortcomings, The Workday Release can benefit greatly from stepping away from the plodding tempo, and allowing a bit more aggression into their passive and ultimately boring songwriting.3 of 3 thought this review was well written
The Workday Release are, in a word, safe. Now, that is not to say that they aren’t capable songwriters or lyricists. There is just an unfortunate lack of indelible originality that can be attributed to copying and pasting the favorite parts of the bands that they enjoy the most. With vocals that are incredibly reminiscent of Relient K’s Matthew Thiessen, he likewise sings about his faith in questionable pedestrian language. The vocals are pleasant, but that is precisely the problem; there is not one iota of emotion conveyed from them at any point on Farther From Familiar
. He doesn’t strain his voice to drive a particular point home, nor does he leave his comfort zone of mid-range blasé. No risks are taken in creating something that hasn’t been done before, and the release just feels a bit disappointing because of it. Perhaps the more intriguing part of these songs is that there are
moments of truly enjoyable pop punk to be had on this album. On the song “The Descent”, there is a very unique riff that starts off the song, and then melds perfectly into a fairly energetic and piercing guitar tone as the drums and bass pick up to match the tempo. Unfortunately, as soon as the vocals come in, the instrumentation becomes incredibly lackluster, relying on lightly-used electronics and underscoring the idea that Farther From Familiar
is just a little too reliant upon the formulae of their contemporaries.
With the piano-led opening track “Set to Sea”, we are able to get a glimpse into a band that can provide some enjoyable songs when they are not tripping over their own feet. The glitch-y electronics are used perfectly here, accenting the mid-paced drums and layered vocal lines. “A Distant Shore” does not grab like the previous song, however; it manages to sound derivative in every aspect. This is what is most frustrating on Farther From Familiar
; nothing is inherently bad, it is just not
memorable in the least. “The Conqueror” starts off with another strong riff, and lends to the fact that this band really could be quite a bit stronger if they pushed the intensity and created more energetic tracks. As it stands, the songs just seem to exist in a vacuum; they don’t have pack the punch necessary to make listeners care one way or the other. It would in turn make the low-key tracks more effective and enjoyable, creating a more diverse and ultimately more enjoyable album. Regardless of the many shortcomings, The Workday Release can benefit greatly from stepping away from the plodding tempo, and allowing a bit more aggression into their passive and ultimately boring songwriting.
“Set to Sea”
Constructive criticism is welcomed, first album that I've reviewed that I didn't really care about one way or the other.
I did not know the plural form of formula is formulae, lol. Thanks for teaching me something today, signal.
This reads well. It's a good negative review that doesn't sound like a rant. It almost seems like you are giving it a higher rating than it reads, but that happens sometimes.
POS you did a great job explaining why the album is average but still mentioned the highlights. Keep it up
Digging: The Who - Tommy
Haha no problem, Ec. Not a lot of opportunity to use 'formulae', but I jumped at the chance lol. Looking back on the review, it does read a bit like a 2, but there are a few decent songs on here. It's pretty obvious that I was struggling between a two and a 2.5 on this one lol.
@atari, thanks man! Writing lukewarm reviews is a bit harder than writing scathingly negative or extremely positive reviews.
Negative reviews are tough. You did a great job here.
Thanks, man. It's appreciated, it's always good to know that I'm on the right track with writing these reviews. I'm starting
become more comfortable with the format of music reviews.
It took me several tries before I really got comfortable with it as well. I didn't like any of my writings until my 5th or 6th review and then I started going back and rewriting my older stuff.
It's hard to not come off as a fanboy for the stuff you really like and a ranting douche for the stuff you just can't stand. The middle ground (3 to 4 range) is the easiest to write about in my opinion and if you look thru my review ratings you will notice only one is not in that area, lol.
Nice, I noticed that. It's funny, it's much harder for me to write on the middle of the road albums. I noticed that you favor Deja Entendu over TDAGARIM and Daisy, any reasoning why?
You know... I am not sure. It may be a nostalgic thing, but I do remember listening to Deja for a much longer period of time than the following two albums. My favorite thing about Deja was the lyrics, whereas Daisy and Devil/God have some very strange and hard to decipher stuff going on. I liked the music more on the latter albums, but I enjoyed the lyrics and vocals more on Deja.
I haven't listened to much from them in quite some time and a lot of people say that Deja doesn't age as well as Devil/God and Daisy. I will have to go back and reacquaint myself with them and see how all 3 hold up for my tastes now.
Yeah, I can understand the nostalgia factor in that. Deja Entendu came around at a time in my life where there wasn't a whole lot of passionate bands in my repertoire. The two following albums definitely have more staying power, and I flip flop between which one I like more of those two.
Damn, you listen to a ton of stuff that I either really like or am in the process of looking into. Have you tried out He Is Legend yet? They are some great post hardcore.
Also, I love that you have New Medicines at a 4+. That, Blindisde's Silence and Thrice's Illusion Of Safety are what got me into post hardcore.
Edit: But I am saddened by your low(ish) rating of The Question and even lower rating of New Surrender.
Yeah New Medicines is severely underrated in my opinion. It's incredibly catchy, passionate, and the songs are well-crafted. They were one of the first post-hardcore hands that really got me into screaming with their debut LP.
To me, The Question had some good tracks, but it just doesn't keep my attention like all of the other Emery albums. The choruses don't seem natural most of the time, and the raw passion that they generally have seems manufactured on that release. I'll have to go back and listen to New Surrender again, but there were only a few songs that ever kept me coming back to that release. It was poppy without being catchy enough, and it lacked the creativity of Cities, or the catchiness of NTFP.
I love tracks 1, 3, 4, 6 and 12 from NS. Everything else is still at least good. I usually ignore Feel Good Drag and stick with the original though.