From A Second Story Window



by withALMONDS USER (12 Reviews)
May 14th, 2009 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Since when does progressing require you to become more melodic?

Apparently I missed the memo that went out a few years back claiming that becoming more progressive means you need to become more melodic, more gimmicky, and more mainstream accessible. From A Second Story Window clearly did not miss it, in fact they seem to have taken it to heart with their newest release, Conversations. Sure, Will Jackson's clean vocals are more impressive than most vocalists in the genre, but even so, the entire album feels vaguely familiar from start to finish.

Conversations kicks off with Most of Us Are Normal, a 3 minute ballad filled entirely with clean vocals and relatively simple instrumentation. While the entire album is a complete departure from their previous work, this song seems to be heading in an entirely different direction by showing you that the old FASSW is gone and dead. I do need to give the band credit for attempting to start off an album with such a slow track instead of waiting until the halfway mark though. Next up,Self Admitted makes its way into play with a smooth and nearly inaudible transition. Paul Misko and Rob Hileman start things off with some admittedly catchy riffage, followed by the rest of the band joining in. Jackson's growls make their way back into the band's sound with this track, however without the same chaotic style the previous releases had, this attempt just seems lackluster. As the third track starts up, things start to sound familiar and monotonous. You just have to wonder, who the hell came up with the idea that more melody is a good thing" Sure you may get a fanbase filled with less neckbeards and manly men, but you would think the fact that this album has been done thousands of times before would have occurred to you at some point during production. And sure, bands need to like the music they play, I get that, but it's not good when your lyrics become as boring and talentless as the 3 or 4 chords playing throughout every track that seem to drown out anything other than the vocals and the bassist.

I really feel sorry for Nick Huffman(drums) and Joe Sudrovic(bass guitar) in this release. They're only audible during the parts of any given song where everything isn't distorted to hell and back, and drowned out by the vocals to the point that only screaming and 4 chords being played over and over can be heard. On top of that, the band rarely strays from the typical "growling on top of chaos, and singing on top of softer music" combination that, again, has been made thousands of times before. Track 5, The Burning Bush manages to offer us a bit of relief by avoiding clean singing throughout its nearly 3 minute time span. Although it does give you a breath of fresh air, it still doesn't compare to their previous work. The chaos and heaviness is gone and has been replaced with melody, and although clean vocals are absent for this track, it sounds like you've heard it before, in fact it vaguely sounds like it draws influence from The Ghost Inside and August Burns Red. But, just as quickly as we were pulled out of the generic metalcore, we're thrown back in. Severed Heads Open Minds comes on with an extremely overdone intro scream. The drums do manage to make their way into audibility with some fairly heavy blast beats, but almost immediately afterwords fade back into the pattern of taking away from the already unimpressive release.

Now, while some people will argue that Conversations was a successful venture into new territory, they're completely wrong. The entire album seems to be a regression, and seems to be drawing influence from any "MTV2 metalcore" group in existence. If you liked Not One Word Has Been Omitted and Delenda, I suggest you stay away from this album. However, if you're just looking for another metalcore outfit that you can listen to with your friends as you watch repeats of Viva La Bam and Rob and Big, or eat lunchroom food while headbanging, then go ahead

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other reviews of this album
lostatsea88 (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 15th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

i like his singing, and this was a pretty good album to mow my lawn to, being as i couldnt really hear half of it to really notice the over-the-top guitar presence throughout.

i liked delenda, and not one word, and if this is the worst of theirs, i wont disagree. but i would say that any venture that they take will still get a listen out of me.

May 15th 2009


Really good review. These are all great dudes, I've been on two tours with them, and seeing them live is completely different than hearing them on record. I hated Delenda, I loved it live. I didn't like Not One Word, loved it live. The songs they played off Conversations seemed much more inspired live than they sound on the record.

Sucks when this happens to a band. Oh and Nick is one of the best drummers I've ever met.

May 15th 2009


POS'd btw. Keep reviewing.

May 15th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, I only got the chance to see them live once, really wish I could have gone again but they broke up.

I would probably have a better opinion of this album if I had seen them play some tracks off of it too, they're just insane during shows

This Message Edited On 05.15.09

May 16th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

"Oh and Nick is one of the best drummers (I've ever met)."

totally agree.

This Message Edited On 05.16.09

May 27th 2009


Album Rating: 1.5

This album sucks compared to their older work

January 15th 2015


Album Rating: 3.5



April 26th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0

I don't get all the hate for this. This guy can actually sing really well and the majority of the clean sections are well thought out and added a new, welcomed dynamic to their sound. This is a fast paced, heavy metalcore album that resembles nothing I've ever heard on MTV.

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