Review Summary: A brilliant addition to the Pop-Punk genre
A small band from Fresno, California jumped on the tour bus with bands such as The Used and Saosin, played Warped Tour, and Taste of Chaos before they had even released their debut album. Their determination is something to be admired, it's something that very few bands show these days, a lot of bands in this genre release a debut album after only a few shows and shoot straight to the magazines and get all the online hype, but bands like those only last a few albums, most of the time the albums get worse with each one. Bands' whos' members spend so little time getting to know each other; Personally and musically. Those are the bands that fizzle out. The bands that get thrown in way over their heads. The bands that don't have enough time to figure out what really works and what doesn't before their labels pressure them into throwing out an album.
Flight 409 spent over a year in the studio to bring us 'We Don't Dance', released last year (2008), but they had spent 3 years preparing for this. It seems that those 3 years paid off in the end, because they happened to have produced one of the most promising albums I've heard in a while. Despite the lack of publicity on this band and this record, I think these 6 young men will make something of themselves, something bigger than what they already have.
The band remind slightly of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, only it's different here with better writing, more talent and less credibility. The band themselves are suprisingly unheard of, despite their touring track record. They seem to fall somewhere into the Pop-Punk category with their transition throughout the record of fast upbeat songs going into slower, deeper songs. Andy Thorntons vocals fit Justin Wiley's guitar riffs perfectly and the band can switch from harder, heavier riffs with screaming such as 'Broken Glass and Heart Attacks' and 'This is War' to the mellowed, and cleverly arranged 'Angel' with ease. The keyboards work on this record and are not overdone, keeping this album safe from being defined as "Sickly pop-punk".
The songs are about what most pop-punk songs are; Love, angst, finding your place in life and have the witty lyrics in some places to go with it. Songs like 'Beauty In A Car Crash' have a darker side to the point of dying in a crash with someone you love. A downside is that some songs really don't stand out at all ('Before You Go', 'This Disaster'). It's this though that keeps Flight 409 from selling out. They put their all into this album and it's very hard with any style of music to compose an album of 13 songs that all sound different and stand out without drifting too far away from the genre. They seem to know this and made the most of what could have been a problem for them. I feel the reason this happened is because the music is so comfortable to listen to, everything seems to fit here. Not one song on this album feels like it shouldn't be here. It has to be said that most of the songs on this album are either catchy or worth listening to.
So what could possibly be bad about this" Well like I said before, they sound similar to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, which means they also sound like every other band out there from this genre. It's hard to pick a style and be unique these days, Sex Pistols were unique back in the 70's. Blondie did it. Nirvana did it, but bands like Flight 409 may never fall away from being just another sound-a-like in their genre. It's a sad fact that music has been so manufactured to the point where nothing is unique anymore. That is why bands like Flight 409 and others will fall to this flaw in music.
So overall, yes a very good album. Flight 409 should pick up where they left off on the next record. This formula works for them, and for their small fanbase. Yes it could be argued that if they changed slightly they may gain popularity but this is the way Flight 409 are, this is the way they should stay.
Besides, this industry isn't all about the money...
Overall rating: 4/5
This is War
Beauty In A Car Crash [Acoustic] (Can be found at the end of Broken Glass and Heart Attacks)
Broken Glass And Heart Attacks