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Reviews Written by
Sarah "beautifullycomplete" (Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire United Kingdom)

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The Needles the Space
The Needles the Space

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop. Now begin., 21 Jun. 2007
This review is from: The Needles the Space (Audio CD)
With their second full-length and major label debut, The Needles The Space, Straylight Run are poised to set the music world alight. From start to finish, it is abundantly clear how far this band have come since the summer of 2003 and their original online demo. The new album continues the experimental theme of Prepare To Be Wrong [EP] and grabs the listener from the opening track.

Highlights include the cheerful vibe of 'The Words We Say', hard-hitting piano based 'Take It To Manhattan' and the experimental drum loops of 'How Do I Fix My Head?'. With an album featuring no less than six extra instruments including a clarinet, mandolin and trombone, there really is something for everyone. There's upbeat ('The Words We Say'; 'The Miracle That Never Came'), somewhat slower ('This Is The End') and acoustic ('Buttoned Down'; 'Cover Your Eyes') for your listening pleasure this time around. And pleasure it certainly is.

Fans of Michelle will be pleased to know that her vocals feature more prominently on this album than their previous releases, with brother John Nolan complementing her style perfectly.

Straylight Run are one of the pop-rock/indie scene's most exciting new bands. Soaring piano melodies combine with some of the most interesting guitar work and percussion around at present. If you buy this and don't like it, hell, I'LL give you your money back.


Devil & God Are Raging Inside
Devil & God Are Raging Inside
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.34

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brand new incarnation for Brand New, 23 Nov. 2006
If this album was put out by an up-and-coming band, it would be hailed a masterpiece. The fact that it is by Brand New is causing far too many people to knock it before they've tried it. Don't compare this release to Deja Entendu; this isn't Deja Entendu #2 and it is all the better for it. The similarities are there if you listen carefully - Brand New haven't ditched their sound - but the differences are marked and positive.

From the opening 'Sowing Season (Yeah)' to the closing 'Handcuffs', The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me packs more punches than Rocky on speed. My own highlights include the aforementioned opener, which rips apart any preoconceptions about this album, and 'Degausser' - the backing choir and Jesse Lacey's exceptional lyrics create a party for your ears. However, if you liked Brand New's acoustic sound you might be a little disappointed, as half of the acoustic-based numbers on this album - most notably, 'Limousine' and 'Welcome To Bangkok' - turn into roaring rock anthems.

If you liked their previous albums, you'll love this - but only if you can accept that Brand New have grown up, shed their 'emo' tag and come out the other side as a band that have consistently shown they can reinvent themselves.


Prepare to Be Wrong
Prepare to Be Wrong
Price: £7.27

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prepare To Be Wrong?, 8 Nov. 2005
This review is from: Prepare to Be Wrong (Audio CD)
Take note of the title on the first listen of this CD - prepare to be wrong, because this isn't the re-hash of the self-titled full length.
Opening with the Azure Ray-esque 'I Don't Want This Anymore', Prepare To Be Wrong couldn't be any further away from the tireless emo tag they seem to have been weighed down with. Michelle Nolan's vocals are showcased in a track some think too long for an introduction but in my opinion, could not be long enough.
'It Never Gets Easier' follows on, which some may already know as 'Costello'. Slightly different to the original, this track is more of a return to Straylight Run's familiar pop-rock sound. The highlight of this EP, however, is 'Hands In The Sky (Big Shot)' - without a shadow of a doubt. A very well chosen next single, this is the song that may rocket Straylight Run to infinity... and beyond. Don't be fooled by the slow intro - the ending is a killer, and Michelle complements John perfectly.
The only negative comment to be made is not that it is not long enough, but that only half of these tracks are 'new'. As mentioned previously, 'It Never Gets Easier' is a re-recording that didn't make the debut. 'A Slow Descent' is a re-recording of one of the first demos from the band, and the Bob Dylan cover 'With God On Our Side' has been floating around in a different format for quite a while now. These tracks are all top-notch, as always, but the lack of new material may disappoint some fans.
That said, Straylight Run are certainly worth your hard-earned.


What to Do When You Are Dead
What to Do When You Are Dead
Offered by westworld-
Price: £6.98

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars And it's all downhill from here..., 27 Jun. 2005
To be quite blunt and to the point, What To Do When You Are Dead is not that good. It doesn't have the style, the emotion and the rawness of Dream To Make Believe and in my opinion, this makes it a second-rate second album.
Some bands evolve and better themselves, but some bands change for the masses and for a new sound that makes them almost unrecognisable. I found this album too hard to get into to give it much of a chance but gave it the benefit of the doubt with 3 stars because I'm sure the more patient Fightstar fans out there will give it more of a listen than I did.
If you're new to Armor For Sleep, listen to and fall in love with their debut before you touch this.


Straylight Run
Straylight Run
Price: £4.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Nolan is a very special man, 3 Jun. 2005
This review is from: Straylight Run (Audio CD)
It's disappointing but unsurprising to read the majority of reviews relating to this album making mention of Taking Back Sunday. Straylight Run are a band in their own right, and TBS need not even be quoted when discussing their music - John and Shaun have moved on, and so should we.
Straylight Run's self-titled debut has something for everyone. Had it not been quite so over-produced, it would have been a sure-fire 5-star record but having heard the beauty in their online demo tracks two years previously, I cannot say that this is the best they can be.
However, Straylight Run have produced an album of epic proportions and will surely expand their already massive online fanbase with this chart-esque offering. The first single, 'Existentialism On Prom Night', has a beauty unseen in most songs around at the moment and my personal favourite, 'Your Name Here (Sunrise Highway)' is a fantastic example of vocalist/pianist John Nolan's lyrical and musical expertise. The addition of Michelle Nolan, also on vocals and piano makes this band one to watch - this is not your usual pop-rock.
And they're also very nice people.


Composure
Composure
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £12.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And there's hope again..., 3 Jun. 2005
This review is from: Composure (Audio CD)
Tooth & Nail supposedly turned Waking Ashland down three times before signing them and releasing this album. I, for one, am glad that it was third time lucky for this keyboard-fronted masterpiece.
It's unusual that keyboard-driven music can be as upbeat as this and Waking Ashland bring something new to the now-tiring 'emo' cliché. This is driving power-pop and an ideal summer album, packed with both fun for the afternoon and something softer for the evening. The inclusion of 'I Am For You', which also featured on their self-produced EP, was a good call and shows just how wonderful melodic rock can be.


The Everglow
The Everglow

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destination: Beautiful?, 18 April 2005
This review is from: The Everglow (Audio CD)
If Mae's destination was beautiful for their debut, they've certainly reached and surpassed it with The Everglow.
It's rare I bestow the full five stars upon any band or album, but I honestly think that this time, Mae are worth that accolade. With stand-out tracks such as the first single 'Suspension', the melodic piano and touching lyrics such as that of 'We're So Far Away' and title track 'The Everglow', Mae have a sure-fire winner with both fans of their previous album and new audiences.
The Everglow has something to appeal to everyone, and I defy anyone to contest that. Look beyond the tiresome 'emo' label and recognise this band for what they are - superb. The harmonies are for pop lovers, the guitars are for indie lovers and the beautiful incorporation of piano is for any fan of real music. If you buy this and dislike it, I'll give you your money back.


Where You Want To Be
Where You Want To Be
Price: £7.03

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new line-up, a new chapter..., 26 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Where You Want To Be (Audio CD)
When listening to Where You Want To Be, it becomes immediately obvious that cannot be compared to Tell All Your Friends and it shouldn't be. Where You Want To Be is a new sound for Taking Back Sunday who, after various line-up changes, have found their feet once again.
After the departures of both John Nolan and Shaun Cooper, Taking Back Sunday were never going to be the same and old fans may be a little disappointed with the way their sound has evolved (myself included) but that doesn't mean that Where You Want To Be isn't a good album in itself.
Highlights include the opening track Set Phaser To Stun, the more mellow acoustic sound of New American Classic and Bonus Mosh Pt. II with the emo cliché, "It's love, make it hurt (I deserve it) it's love, it's love, it's love... make it hurt" forming a catchy chorus.
However, Where You Want To Be appears to lack the emotional intensity of Tell All Your Friends and this could be setting TBS on the road to chart-rock mediocrity.


Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £13.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get into but worth the effort, 1 May 2004
Staring At The Sun was the first track I listened to from this album and I was immediately grabbed by the Postal Service-esque indie/electronic beats. However, it took a little longer to get into the rest of the album. Despite this, it was worth the effort and after a few listens, this CD is in my top list of CDs released this year so far. It's a little different but that is by no means detrimental; give it a try and you might be surprised. TV On The Radio are very much an 'underground' phenomenon at the moment (speaking in terms of the UK) but are coming over for a few dates later this month and will perhaps get the recognition they rightly deserve.
If you like The Postal Service, Dntel and/or Death Cab For Cutie, you'll probably enjoy Desperate Youth Blood Thirsty Babes.


New Medicines
New Medicines
Offered by SycoBloom
Price: £3.44

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great album..., 21 Mar. 2004
This review is from: New Medicines (Audio CD)
From the opening track 'Taste The Red Hands' to the closing 'A Hoax To Live For', Dead Poetic have produced another sure-fire winner with the new wave of emo/hardcore kids.
Highlights include the sting of regret in 'Glass In The Trees' and the two-fingers-up to corporate image with 'Vanus Empty'. With lyrics like "All I ever do is picture you smiling and then picture you leaving", Brandon Rike and the guys are likely to have every emo kid crying into their messenger bags. The mix of melody and hardcore, not unlike Thursday and Moneen, is excellent and definately worth a listen - especially if 'screamo' is your kinda thing.
I'd give this a definite 5-star rating, if not for knowing that Dead Poetic are nothing original. Not original; but memorable indeed.


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