At A Loss

    A Falling Away From

    6
    Blackout - January 27, 2004

    The moniker of this New York four-piece might be the proper phrase to describe your initial reaction after listening to A Falling Away From for the first time. The album — a collection of songs that spans At A Loss’s six-year career — contains a hodgepodge of eclectic influences, so it’s hard to know where to begin. Opener “Cut before the Death Scene” is a straightforward pop-punk anthem that offers catchy, sing-along choruses and singer/guitarist Stephen Blackwell’s boyish vocals. On the other hand, Blackwell’s crooning is accompanied by throaty shouts on “In the Aftermath” and “Closing Yours,” and the music imparts a heavier post-punk punch.

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    But even metal tendencies thrive when indulgent guitar solos appear (see “Without a Name”) and metal riffs abound (particularly in “Fighting Stance”). Not leaving anything out, At A Loss includes two instrumental tracks (“Low Oceans” and “Black Window Space”), which, although deftly performed, seem a bit out of place amidst the other up-tempo songs. It’s quite varied, but A Falling Away From is a solid debut — fans of Thursday, Thrice and Taking Back Sunday should take notice.

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