Jet Black

Like many musical sub-genres, emo is most likely one you either love and understand or shake your head and walk away. There seems to be little room for a middle ground. Although I am a slight fan of The Promise Ring, most of the bands associated with this tag often leave me lukewarm. Their lack of melody or at least, a reliance on an oblique sense of melody often robs their lyrics of the charm or wit they may enjoy. Instead, they come across like anemic and well educated kids with bad haircuts and goofy glasses trying to rock. So, it was with some sense of trepidation that I approached this release by Twinstar. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a bad release but neither is it one to make me a convert or seek out releases by the band they are most often compared to: Hey Mercedes.

On this release, the band relies a pretty solid arrangement of tunes and a strong rhythm section but at times the individual instruments seem to blend all together. Perhaps the mixer or producer was down at the helm but more time spent in the studio cleaning up the arrangements would have helped. Also, the lead singer needs a little more gruffness behind his voice. As it is, he sounds a lot like a dispassionate Greg Dulli. Yet, when the band clicks all together as they do on the third track, “Life Span of a Cameraman,” they do well.

All told, this is a decent effort from a good band. In the hands of a good producer with some more time on their hands, they could really deliver a work to send their contemporaries running for cover. If you are a fan of any of the aforementioned bands, most likely you’ll enjoy this release.


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