Review Summary: This one drowned in the sea
Scapegoat on These Cards We're Dealt are:
Kit Walters - Vocals
Justin Driscoll - Guitar
Dan Royer - Bass
Dan Hitselberger - Drums
Back in 2007 Myspace was the only way I knew to find new music. One day I stumbled on this band called Scapegoat and thought they were pretty great. That, however, doesn't mean a lot since I also thought Alesana was the greatest thing on earth. As the “emo” wave raced through Germany I got completely dragged along and another 5feet spaz was born. Luckily, my mom never allowed me to color my hair black and some of the bands I listened to were actually really good.
Even though they were part of this particular time period, it seemed that not many people knew who they were. The band was founded in 1999 in Charlotte, NC when the members were only around 13 years old. They actually released an LP, called One On One, shortly after and it's pretty impressive, at least if you consider the age. In 2004 they released their third album, These Cards We're Dealt, which means they were still only around the age of 18. I keep forgetting about that and it amazes me every time but I suppose 5 years of experience does a lot. Now, don't expect a life changing album from some weird teens, but definitely one that is a lot of fun without being frivolous.
The album and the band is best comparable to one a few years younger: letlive. As it turns out, Scapegoat's vocalist, Kit Walters, actually produced their last two records (“he was the perfect example of what we would like to have in a recording setting“) which might be the reason for that. Scapegoat are less aggressive though and there's a lot more singing in their albums.
This record starts out fast with Dinner For Four and it already delivers the overall atmosphere of the album which has a dark undertone. There aren't many quiet or slow moments in the songs, with the exception of November which is almost a rock ballade, or at least a track you could find on an Emery album (if they were as cool as Scapegoat). It's also my favorite on this album, though a bad song to pick to get an overall impression of it. Besides that, there are some jazzy moments going on in a couple of songs and they do get pretty technical for a Post-Hardcore album. But for the most part, the album has the typical Glassjaw riffs along with some screaming and then the chorus with the clean vocals. It doesn't seem cheap, so there's nothing that can go wrong with that. Compared to a Glassjaw album this is simply darker and faster and screaming is a much bigger part of it all.
The lyrics are pretty disappointing, though never ridiculous. I suppose they're too personal to make any sense, the same I feel with Circa Survive's or, again, letlive's. But neither do they play an important role, so they're easy to ignore and those on November are good enough.
The last song is a hidden acoustic track that still maintains the atmosphere.
The album is very accessible but deep at the same time. I mean, I've been enjoying it for years and it's definitely among the best things I took with me from those terrible times and it's weird to see that only 5 people have rated it, since Zombie Dog wasn't a complete underdog. It's not nearly as good as this album though and, sadly, neither is any other of them. Especially their latest lacks any real reason to exist. But that doesn't make this one any worse. I think they had some great ideas on here which I haven't heard anywhere else and, as mentioned at the beginning, this is really fun and entertaining, so I recommend you to listen to at least a couple of tracks.
Recommended tracks: Black Santa, A Sidewalk Romance, November