Review Summary: After an extremely poor debut album, Day of Fire regroups and comes back with a much stronger effort. Unfortunately, that means that they've merely gone from bad to mediocre.
Remember back in Little League, when you were the awkward, nerdy kid with absolutely zero hand-eye coordination? (Come on--I know I'm not the only former benchwarmer on this site.) Every game, after great adulation and praise was heaped upon the future Barry Bonds' and Roger Clemens'(we had pretty low ethical standards), I and my fellow underachievers would each get a half-hearted "good effort, Sonny" from the coach before the stars went off for ice cream. That little "good effort" always irritated me. The coach knew I was trying, and he wanted to congratulate me for that, but my playing was so painfully average that the best praise he could think of was "good effort." It seemed to be the lowest form of encouragement possible without becoming a discouragement. Of course, I eventually grew up to be the best baseball player the world has ever seen, and showed those stupid coaches what some real effort looked like! And.....then I woke up.
But back to Day of Fire. Cut & Move is the quintessential "good effort" album. There isn't much that this band does well, but there is quite a bit that they do poorly. There's a few catchy chord progressions(Love, Cut & Move, Wake Me), and a few decent lead guitar lines(including an acceptable guitar solo on Reborn). Other than those few instances, the album is mostly below average and forgettable. Josh Brown's vocals are probably the strongest aspect of the band, and they do actually sound surprisingly good. There's a gritty, dirty quality to them that is very intriguing. An obvious similarity exists between Josh and Adam Gontier, 3 Days Grace's vocalist. However, in my opinion Josh is definitely the better vocalist of the two.
Unfortunately though, even 3 Days Grace owns this band musically. And you don't need me to tell you that that's a bad thing. A very bad thing. The overall sound of Cut & Move is actually extremely similar to One-X: so similar, in fact, that it's hard to pinpoint any major differences other than the fact that Cut & Move is significantly worse. Whether you like it or not, One-X was and still is an extremely popular album, and deserves recognition for at least giving generic radio-rock devotees a nearly flawless album filled to the brim with generic radio-rock riffs. Day of Fire tries their very hardest to make the same type of album, but Cut & Move just simply doesn't cut it. Most of the riffs aren't very catchy, there aren't enough of them to begin with, and they are far too simple to hold your interest -- three very bad traits for an album constructed almost exclusively of simple power chord riff-based songs. It's clearly a bad sign when the one goal DoF is trying to accomplish with this album isn't even reached.
To sum up, Cut & Move is the epitome of a forgettable album. It's not bad enough to be notable simply for laughs, it's not mindblowing, and it's not even good enough to be remembered just for being a good, generic, rock album. There are a few decent moments, but it doesn't come even close to the consistency of it's closest competitor, One-X. The band tries hard, but in the end Cut & Move is just a "good effort." In little league baseball, a simple effort is enough to get recognition. But in the big league music business, that simply isn't good enough.
Download if you must:
- Wake Me