Review Summary: The truth is that Ten After Two crafted an album that followed all genre conventions of the time.
A competent effort, the band's debut album does nothing outside of the norm and offers few memorable moments. Good musicianship, good screams, and good cleans. Everything is good, nothing is great, and honestly nothing is offensive or bad. Perhaps that's why a decade after this release there's likely few who remember the band or this album and even fewer coming back to it for repeated listens.
Standout tracks 'Before You Know It' and 'Dead After Dallas' offer a one-two punch of late aughts post-hardcore. 'Before You Know It' starts with a copy and paste of the best qualities of A Skylit Drive and rebuffs the standard by ending on something other than a chug-along breakdown. 'Dead After Dallas' quickly remedies this by kicking things off with a breakdown you could find on any Rise record of the era. If this sounds like your cup of tea, this album is built around these two song archetypes.
What else is there? Nothing. There's nothing else to find here. Songs vary slightly in quality, the drumming and guitar work can occasionally be interesting, and once in a while the vocalists have charisma. As I finish another listen of this album one more time, nothing has stood out and I'm left with questions. Is competency enough? Does rehashing everything that's already been done in a genre of music have any value? Why even create this?
The final line of "Believe Me" is sung, "Made me feel so..." and yet we haven't felt anything during the entire album.