Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start is actually the code for ninety-nine free lives in Contra, but I'm sure everyone knows that by now. Web sites and magazines have hyped this New Jersey band's musicianship, but I'm not hearing anything special in these five songs. They're typical mid-late '90s songs; I hate to the use the term "emo" but it totally applies to this record. Elements of the Promise Ring, the first two Get Up Kids albums and the Casket Lottery are all getting thrown into the mix here, the later two being the most prominent. There is a screamed vocal part that I swear could be Sean Ingram of Coalesce. A few people have been impressed by the varied instruments the band uses, including cellos and violins. But I'm going to take a cue from my girlfriend and not let that impress me straight away, since it seems to be the thing to do these days. In fact, the instrumentation is buried to the point where it could be ignored on all but the last track, where it shines through. Course, the last track sounds nothing like the previous four. Perris, CA is good but pretty forgettable. Pick up the first two Casket Lottery albums instead.
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