Underoath
They're Only Chasing Safety


2.5
average

Review

by Michael Roberts USER (99 Reviews)
April 17th, 2006 | 47 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Scene is something that can be very deceiving. I mean who ever thought that wearing a Christian band�s shirt at all of the so called �screamo and emo� shows would be sweeping the nation. Yes Underoath sure has a pretty big fan base, at least around me; but lets not concentrate on scene, popularity, religion, and labeling genres, lets go to the music.

Underoath is�
Spencer Chamberlain - Vocals
Tim McTague - Guitar
James Smith - Guitar
Grant Brandell - Bass
Chris Dudley - Keys
Aaron Gillespie - Drums, Vocals

Underoath is often compared to The Used and Hawthorne Heights in terms of sounds and vocal styles, for better or for worse. Upon the listening to this record these comparisons can definitely be understood in certain cases, but do not hold up all the way through the record. Yes the scream, sing method is used predominately throughout the album but who does not exercise that these days. The vocals on both ends of this album are a highlight. The screaming fits the music they are playing very well and the singing compliments it great providing catchy choruses. When vocals are layered in this album they sound fantastic, another definite plus. The guitars have their moments but it is very easy at times to forget that there are two guitarists playing. Bass and keys are heard fairly easy as this album�s production is top of the line. The drums are solid and consistent throughout the album. One major flaw in this album is its potential to blend together and sound the same. This just makes the album go downhill.

From the opening fade in of Young and Aspiring a very fast mood is created. The screaming matches the music fantastically and the clean vocals are excellent throughout this song. A great example of the commendable layered vocals is shown in the opening song. The lyrics actually seem a little more thought out than plenty of the bands they are compared to.

So you play the mistaken...
and I'll play the victim in our screenplay of
desire... I'm still writing the letters
I'll never send


Not an art, but above average regarding the bands they are compared to. A Boy Brushed Red�Living in Black and White starts a little slower with clean vocals but quickly picks up throughout. The little guitar riff in the verse is written quite well, and the chorus in this song is really something. So two songs, both good, where exactly does this album go wrong you ask? Well the rest of this album does not exactly deliver anything new from what you have already heard 5 minutes into it and takes a giant plunge.

The four middle songs on the record are either boring or a filler track. While an upbeat chorus is created at times, the songs themselves are not memorable in the least bit. I guarantee when you pop this in there will be certain tracks that get stick in your head. The problem with these songs is most of them can be forgotten in a week or even days. The single Reinventing Your Exit is a prime example of this. The instruments are fairly basic on this song at times but a catchy chorus is created; that�s about it. Proof that a catchy chorus cannot save a song, as this song is a straight up waste of time and a poor choice for a single. The next single It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door is quite possibly worse than its previous single. The music work is nothing short of bland and this song sure will fill your appetite if you are craving a feast of boredom. The cheesy choir around the 2:35 mark just makes this song even worse. There is not need what so ever for this and just brings this song down. Another major problem is found in this album, the singles.

A bit of a new sound is found in Down, Set, Go . The chords in the verse are picked with a nice rhythm which adds for a very cleanly flowing song. This song will be almost impossible to get out of your head the first time you listen to it and it�s quite a nice listen afterwards even. The one acoustic guitar strumming and clean electric picking on the other guitar during the bridge is quite welcome here. Spencer does a great job bringing the pace back at the conclusion of the bridge. The outro of this song is done great with a perfect mix of screaming and singing with a well placed riff in the mix. With drums pounding perfectly amongst the screaming the outro complete. This ends the first memorable song since the beginning of the album.

More of a heavier sound is found in I Don't Feel Very Receptive Today , in this case for worse. The music work guitar wise is just so boring and clich�, while nothing else really stands out. This track just does not offer anything new besides a slightly heavier sound which is very forgettable. I�m Content With Losing picks up the usual sound of the album. A catchy chorus and� that�s about it actually on this track. Maybe a nice listen for two maybe three times and than you won�t even remember the name of the song. As a matter of fact the last few songs on this album are very reminiscent of the last few on Atreyu�s The Curse, boring, repetitive, and just down right painful at moments.

All in all, this album got a false hope up; after the first two songs, this was looking a-ok. After that it went downhill. This album can be described like a roller coaster you have ridden a thousand times; a great opening hill, boring middle with a rare surprise you forgot, and than a terrible ending that you wish could be as good as the beginning.

Pros�
- good production
- fairly consistent music work
- some catchy chorus�

Cons�
- few memorable songs
- consistent work musically means minimal surprises throughout
- terrible singles

This album can be a great listen, the formula; listen to the first two songs, fast forward, hit stop after one more song finishes. Yes indeed a very difficult album to listen through all of the way. The few good songs are great, and the bad ones, well you get the picture as They�re Only Chasing Safety seems to hit one extreme or another.

Here�s the big picture of the album�
Good: 3
Mediocre: 1
Filler: 1
Bad: 5

Final Rating: 2.5/5



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...

xfragiletimex (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

[quote=review]This album can be a great listen, the formula; listen to the first two songs, fast forward, hit stop after one more song finishes. [/quote]Wha?
And good review, but your writing is a little...strange at times. Good detail and writing in general, though.
This is why I wait till 'round 9 to post my reviews, Official, heh.

pattern_recognition
April 17th 2006


950 Comments


That first paragraph is...confusing.
Good review though. This band blows. Way too overtly Christian for the most part, and too self-consciously 'emotional' and 'poetic'.
It'd help if they wrote more than three decent songs, but oh well, I guess image will be enough.
Anyway, good review.
*thumbs up*

beachbum18
April 17th 2006


40 Comments


who cares if they are "overly Christian"? they are just singing what they feel strongly about, like alot of other bands. I really dont like Underoath that much or any screamo/emo whatever its called stuff, but what I hear underoath is hitting it pretty big.

mx
Moderator
April 17th 2006


733 Comments


I don't really see how the fact that this band is Christian should be mentioned anymore than a lot of other bands have Atheists in them. It's about the music -- not the member's personal beliefs.

pattern_recognition
April 17th 2006


950 Comments


I'd agree if the band themselves didn't let it influence their playing, but at times it sounds like they're preaching. That's the difference between being a band with christian members and being a christian band. One is passive, and is about the music, as you both said, and the other uses their music as a pulpit for imposing their religious beliefs on others.
Still, Underoath only barely fall into that category. Just enough to bug me.

labonza01
April 17th 2006


546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They aren't necessarily trying to impose their beliefs on others, they write music for a christian audience and just happened to nab some listeners with a different belief system or no belief system at all. also, mx, the christianity is part of the music, underoath is a christian band.

pattern_recognition
April 17th 2006


950 Comments


That's fair enough, I can accept that. Peace, everybody.

labonza01
April 17th 2006


546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nobody's arguing, i was just pointing out some stuff that i beleive to be true, no vendetta or anything.

pattern_recognition
April 17th 2006


950 Comments


Yeah, I know, I'm just in a harmonious mood. Tryin' to spread it, is all. Stop the hate lol
Anyway, to be fair, I should point out that I love the title track off this album, despite the lyrics, and I also like Reinventing Your Exit.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

This is pretty much better than If Only You Were Lonely.

labonza01
April 17th 2006


546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if by title track, you mean young and aspiring, i agree with you 100%, its the best song on the album, and yes, this exceedes any hawthorne heights junk by leaps and bounds. wait, ignore that, let the peace and harmony flow.This Message Edited On 04.17.06

pattern_recognition
April 17th 2006


950 Comments


No, by title track I mean Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape.
Why the hell did I call that the title track? Mental stumble.
Sorry, my bad.
^^^^^^^
This is me saying sorry.
*collapses laughing*

Full Collapse299
April 17th 2006


507 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Old underOATH is where it's at! Act Of Depression, Cries Of The Past, or The Changing Of Times anyone? This album is okay but nowhere near as good as the previous three I just mentioned.

This is pretty much better than If Only You Were Lonely.

Hahaha.

pattern_recognition
April 17th 2006


950 Comments


They're old screamer bugs me more than the new one though.
Anyone heard those leaked demos of their upcoming album?

labonza01
April 17th 2006


546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no, but maybe they improved, that would be great. i havent heard old underoath, but if they are as metal as i think they are, then odds are i wont like it much, i just cant get into metal.

pattern_recognition
April 17th 2006


950 Comments


Their first two albums were, if anything, influenced almost by black metal, and then the third one was much like this one.
From the demos I've got of the new one, it sounds pretty much like this one, but with maybe a bit more consistent songwriting.

labonza01
April 17th 2006


546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so a minor improvement. their third album was Changing of times, right? is it any good? and yeah, black metal, definitely outside my comfort zone.

Full Collapse299
April 17th 2006


507 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

They're old screamer bugs me more than the new one though.

Anyone heard those leaked demos of their upcoming album?

I haven't heard them. They're boasting quite a lot about thier new album though. Saying things like, "If you thought this stuff was amazing, wait until you hear our new stuff." It would be funny if they went back to metal. It would be great to see all the fans who think that this was thier first album just freak out.

no, but maybe they improved, that would be great. i havent heard old underoath, but if they are as metal as i think they are, then odds are i wont like it much, i just cant get into metal.

Yeah Act Of Depression and Cries Of The Past are full on metal while the Changing Of Times is more metalcore.

labonza01
April 17th 2006


546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ok, so metalcore is a little more familiar to me, the only band in the genre i actually like is atreyu though.

pattern_recognition
April 17th 2006


950 Comments


Well, I'm by no means an Underoath fan, but I quite enjoyed parts of the demos. They're lacking all keyboard tracks and stuff though, so it should be a good listen when the final album comes out.



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