K Sera
Collisions and Near Misses


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jacob R. STAFF
March 4th, 2013 | 81 replies | 8,087 views


Release Date: 02/26/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Has The Dear Hunter been outhunted?

Context changes everything, and if this weren’t the case, most indie rock fans would enjoy Collisions & Near Misses much more than they probably will. With the album being a jubilant blend of progressive indie tunes, it’s hard to find things to dislike about the release. Let’s cover all the bases here: memorable songwriting? Check. Exciting instrumentation? Absolutely. And crystal-clear production? Without a doubt. See, every reason exists to think K Sera has debuted at the top of its game.

The band certainly has a great record here, likely due to friends in high places. The most notable thing about the development of Collisions & Near Misses is that it was produced by The Dear Hunter’s very own Casey Crescenzo. Talk about convenient - the top-tier musician certainly has an ear for gripping melody. In fact, most of the tracks here sound as if they could have easily been written by Crescenzo himself.

“Ah, but wait,” The Dear Hunter’s fans ask. “Isn’t this some sort of problem?” Sure, The Dear Hunter is a legendary name for a reason. No, it isn’t inherently problematic for a group to resemble a powerful influence - and even less so on a debut, after all - but let’s be honest: this album positively reeks of Casey Crescenzo. “Collisions” functions as the quintessential Dear Hunter opener, a slow-burner that merely hints at what comes next; then “Near Misses” follows up in an expectedly frantic manner, similarly to the second track off, well, any Dear Hunter album. There are numerous structural similarities, too - “St. Peter (Better Than Yours)” works as the poignant ballad expected of the album’s midsection, for example - and this makes the release feel strikingly familiar.

In circumstances like these, music critics have quite the conundrum on their hands. Does a high-quality replica deserve the praise of its predecessors? What’s important to keep in mind, though, is that replication is an important part of a band’s growth. All bands go through this phase in their beginnings, as much as we may fancy thinking otherwise. The difference with K Sera is that the band, along with Crescenzo, has made the album out to be more than an evolution. However, the album could easily pass as the next release by the Dear Hunter, and call me crazy, but I actually see this as a great thing.

Honestly, I’d be more irked about the similarities at hand if they weren’t so masterfully executed. Collisions & Near Misses is a remarkably consistent album, one that perfects the idea of quality triumphing over quantity. In only ten tracks, K Sera accomplish what The Dear Hunter has failed to do thus far, to create a concise summary of its sound. The album has its theatrical numbers, indeed, like “Meditations in an Emergency” and its piano-driven melody. In other places K Sera follows a straight-forward rock approach, with singer Mike Caswell leading the pack in expectedly cinematic fashion. Each track here can easily be a highlight, too, under the right circumstances, but “Ambien” is on another level. The track begins with infectious handclaps and piano hits of the verse, building to coalesce into the ending’s successful experiment with vocal harmonies. In moments like these, the realization strikes that K Sera is truly one of the most promising indie groups out there, and that critics faulting them for being 'unoriginal' are missing the point entirely.

It all feels familiar, sure, but how much does it matter? It’s undeniable that K Sera will carve its own niche in the future, and it would be silly to dismiss the band for taking influence from the best. As long as one doesn’t dig into the heart of this album with expectations of originality, Collisions & Near Misses will present itself as the promising, fine-tuned indie rock album it is.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

SO MANY WORDS.

I presented a lot of ideas here, so surely there are things I could've done better. I welcome constructive criticism. =]

"Dream Like I Do" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMUWYcz2Ogs





Digging: The Contortionist - Language

ILJ
March 4th 2013


6669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wait Casey is involved with this?

brb gonna 5 this.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha. This album's fantastic - you should love it

I fear dat summary will get me assassinated by someone around here

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 4th 2013


10593 Comments


Oh damn wanna listen. Sounds nifty.

ILJ
March 4th 2013


6669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I feel like I've heard/read of this group somewhere.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You'll definitely enjoy it, Eli. Check out the song I posted.

And ILJAJLM, these guys have a close relationship with Crescenzo, so a fan like yourself has probably heard the name floating around at some point

There's also another musical group, though, named Que Sera. The confusion that must ensue.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 4th 2013


10593 Comments


Damn has this leaked yet?

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not sure, but it's on Spotify.

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


10405 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZbKHDPPrrc

Digging: Literature - Chorus

CK
March 4th 2013


4912 Comments


Dat summary?

http://spaceghetto.org/images/gunfire.gif

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

When I was just a little boy
I asked Casey Crescenzo what will I be
Will I be pretty will I be you
Here's what she said to me

SÍ, ESTAS CORRECTO

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Louis Ckreticeland, please don't stab me with that burnt genitalia

ILJ
March 4th 2013


6669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Damn has this leaked yet?"

I just got it. It's not high quality though, 192 kbs I believe. Haven't actually put it on yet.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well since it's organic black metal, the low quality should serve it just fine

Oceanus
March 4th 2013


877 Comments


"Dream Like I Do" reminds me of Anberlin.

ILJ
March 4th 2013


6669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man I'm excited for this. This Nick Cave album needs to end.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice jump from a 3.4 to a 4. Nice review too

ILJ
March 4th 2013


6669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I'm not finding anything immediately wrong with the review.

Calc
March 4th 2013


12181 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

That summary has cemented your fate...you will rue this day.

Digging: Jizue - Shiori

ILJ
March 4th 2013


6669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Literally 30 seconds in and I already love it.



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