It's funny when you see an artist basically outdo something that seemed like such a key influence to their sound. No discredit to Saosin really but Teenage Fantasy from Secret & Whisper takes the whole metallic guitar licks/pulsating drums/(non excessive)high pitched vocals to new heights along with more ambient experimenting that fits much better than seen in their debut-but what really makes this hit hard is with how cohesive the entire album is-the songs flow into each other beautifully and it keeps you hooked. In essence, Teenage Fantasy is basically a more experimental yet exciting and cohesive version of The Great White Whale-but it's to a point that it has not only set a potential new standard but also showing the band is on to making themselves something much more than a carboncopy so many other bands in the post-hardcore genre can't seem to shake.
Teenage Fantasy is much like a cave. It's dark, mysterious, and strangely serene. It's also unfortunately completely ruined by the presence of screeching bats. Thanks a lot, Charles Furney, for your incapability to sound like anything but a wailing banshee with no sense of restraint.
Cove Reber takes on the vocal duties here (as he did on the self-titled EP) and he does a very good job of bringing his own strengths to the table while occasionally channeling Green to good effect. Still intact, the remainder of the band adjust fittingly and while the technicality and complexity of their musicianship still very much exists, it is toned down a little. This results in more of a melodic brand of post-hardcore rock that cynics would suggest too similarly sounds like many emo rock bands on the scene. To me though, it is a successful and satisfying balance.