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.
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”