"Self-titled" CD (Equal Vision)
For every Black Cross, Give Up The Ghost or Fairweather record that Equal Vision releases, there's at least one album by a band like Armor For Sleep or Alexisonfire (which is to say that for every interesting, experimental and artistically challenging record, you get one incredibly commercial release which offers no surprises and nothing new). Like bands such as Waterdown and the rest of the screamo hordes, one vocalist screams as if he wanted to be in Morbid Angel; the other sings in sweet, angelic tones. Like most bands of this ilk, the musicianship is passable to good; that's rarely the problem. The problem is that the actual music begins at pop-punk with the sweet melodies to get the chicks in and then tries to add a tougher edge so that, you know, the dudes will like it, sounding like every other band with dyed black hair and bangs, ear plugs and star tattoos in the process. In that respect, this album offers something for everyone who will be listening to the next big trend in two years. However, by nearly every measure that I can use to gauge a good - or even decent - album, this doesn't even begin to register.