When Just Surrender's "If These Streets Could Talk" was released not only was it catchy as hell, it was one of the angriest and most diverse pop-punk albums of 2005. This album is impressive because none of the songs sound alike like so many bands in this particular genre. But how is it angry? Well one thing that makes people pretty angry and a little bit sad is breakups and that is what this album is all about.
In 2002 when Taking Back Sunday came out with "Tell All Your Friends", that was the first time in pop-punk that dual-vocals were really taken to the mainstream, sure TBS used there dual-vocals a lot but Just Surrender takes this to a whole new level. Also ranging from New York the band is described as having "Two Lead Singers", because of their use of the dual-vocal. Really the thing is that you have a singer with a deep-tone and a singer with a lighter tone, the singer with the darker tone usually gets the surrounding lines to the chorus, and the singer with the lighter tone usually gets the choruses to give them a more pop-punk feel. The sound itself is amazing since the two singers feed of each other’s energy so very well.
This album only has 10 songs, but that is respectable for a bands first album. " I Can Barely Breathe" is the first track that sounds a lot like a ballad and a good choice for a single, the chorus is so damn catchy but the guitar and drum work kind of distorts the lead singers vocals. The second song "Of All We've Known" along with "Is There No Truth In Beauty?" is one of the darker songs on the album the chorus is absolutely hard-core and comes straight at you, the surrounding lines give it the dark feel that leads perfectly into the chorus once again. "Tell Me Everything", is the first single and is a little less of a song because it could be so much more aggressive [with the background screams and such], but it is still a great song. So really on this album we have dark and poppy songs they are both through the first three tracks very impressive.
But when are we going to mix both of these influences together? "In Your Silence", seems so dark in the chorus: "I wish I could destroy you", but I really don't know what to make of the surrounding lines and it's has one of the mixed beats with some pop-punk 3 string guitar picking going on. But "Our Work Of Art", combines these two phases of the band beautifully, and is probably one of my favorite songs of 2005. The song starts of with a head-banging intro, which develops into some pop-vocals, and again the chorus is just strung out beautifully. But were the song really succeeds is in the breakdown which is fast-paced with a slow instrumental solo in between and then it goes right back into it. This is definitely a track I would check out.
This album sort of becomes unsure of itself in the seven and eight tracks. "You Tell A Tale", has a decent intro but doesn't really want to commit to be slow or fast and this makes for a track that is under produced and is really a skippable track, but it does have a decent breakdown. "Forgotten Not Forgiven", wants to be intensely hard like the closer "She Broke My Heart.... So I Broke His Jaw", but really has a lack of skill song writing in the surrounding lines and even though it has a pretty catchy chorus it really never gets to be one of my favorite songs off the album.
This album features some beautiful sad/soft tracks. "What We've Become" and "Is There No Truth In Beauty", both are kind of calm after the storm songs after the big hard-rockers before it. "What We've Become", has a nice beat in the chorus were the electric guitar is distorted and the keyboard seems to be playing in the background with some pounding drums taking the forefront. The breakdown is once again strong to follow the chorus and it once again all works out perfectly. "Is There No Truth In Beauty?", features only the deeper voice singer singing, and he does a beautiful job. The chorus doesn't really change the beat at all but the song has such a nice beat with the piano and the "How To Disappear Completely" wave-sound going in the chorus. Overall the song is a good listen and it proves that both these singers have talent.
This is a very impressive debut CD. It's not your average pop-punk CD with only one beat, the beats vary throughout the album, the duel vocals are brilliant and they are still very catchy. This band has a lot of upside and I can't wait until their next album comes out especially if it is better than this.
"Our Work Of Art" and "She Broke My Heart... So I Broke His Jaw" as the intense tracks
"What we've become" and "Is There No Truth In Beauty?" as soft tracks
The 7 and 8 tracks never seem to form.
The relationship theme can get old.
"Take a look at yourself/ tell me what do you see/ I take a bullet for you/ You put a bullet threw me/ And as I lie on the floor with this hole in my chest/ How do you walk from the truth/ With all that blood on your dress. - Just Surrender [The breakdown on "Our Work Of Art"]
4.5/5 [this is my second review on this one is on Bchop I hope this is better!]