October 16, 2006

CD Review: A Static Lullaby - A Static Lullaby

A Static Lullaby is a band that has been climbing the popularity ranks over the past few years, and seem to have developed quite a following. Despite their growing fandom, I had never heard them prior to this release. I haven't avoided them, per se, it is just that the wave of screamo/post-hardcore that has been gaining steam over the past few years has never caught on with me. I just have a hard time getting into this style, and at times has caused me to wonder if I am just getting too old and the music world is leaving me behind. Then I think, nah, I just haven't found the right band yet. Unfortunately, after listening to this self-titled album the search continues.

The band has definitely had a rough year. Following the success of And Don't Forget to Breathe the band left Ferret records hoping to score on a larger scale. What followed was Faso Latido, which was not met with all that much enthusiasm. Their following did continue to grow as they went on tours with the likes of As I Lay Dying, My Chemical Romance, Underoath, and Killswitch Engage. The bad luck did not go away, as they were dropped by their label, and suffered the loss of three of their band members. Two of them left under, what I have read, to be rather ugly conditions, while the third went back to school.

Lead vocalist Joe Brown and vocalist/guitarist Dan Arnold soldiered on. They found new band members to fill the shoes of those that left, and signed a new record deal with Fearless Records. The end result of their perserverance is this self-titled collection of melodic post-hardcore, angst filled ragers. I salute them in their determination in keeping the band moving forward in the face of what seems to have been near insurmountable odds.

After listening A Static Lullaby through a couple of times, I have found a few cuts that are downright infectious, but otherwise they do not really stand out from the crowd. At times it sounded like the same song was repeating itself a couple of times. A problem that is not specific to these guys, but something I have encountered in many of these screamo styled acts.

Things are kicked off with the upbeat "Hang'em High." The cut sets the stage with the opening rage countered by softer melody. I would not call this one of the best songs here, but it is definitely one that will get the blood pumping. It is followed by "Contagious," which is, quite frankly, exactly what the title says. This was one of the stronger tracks here, featuring some nice vocal interplay and chugging guitars that blend into an anthemic pattern. Closing out the openng trilogy is the pit rager "Annexation of Puerto Rico," a song that is pure energy.

Jump ahead a little bit and you get the cleverly titled "Trigger Happy Tarantula" which has a good mix of melody and energy, raising it towards the top cuts. The only other song that had an effect on me was "Eager Cannibals" which had a very nice bass line that weaved through it. A last note is that the final track, "Mechanical Heart," had a few interesting moments.

Bottomline. Screamo will never be my genre of choice, and A Static Lullaby does not do much to save their case. Sure, they had a few songs with points of interest, but all too often it seems like too much effort is put into the mix of rage and melody. The progression does not feel as natural as in other acts I listen to. Still, the album is not a waste, by any stretch, just not one that I will find myself reaching for too often.

Mildly Recommended.
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